Charlottesville emission levels expected to rise slightly; new initiatives ramping up

Charlottesville emission levels expected to rise slightly; new initiatives ramping up

CharlottesvilleThe City of Charlottesville Climate Program has released community-wide Greenhouse Gas inventory data for calendar years 2020 and 2021.

The city’s GHG Inventory was heavily impacted in 2020 by COVID-19. Due to stay-at-home orders and the reduction of GHG-producing activities, emissions levels dropped significantly.

In fact, community-wide emissions were 45 percent below the 2011 baseline, which meets the city’s 2030 reduction target.

In 2021, emissions were back up to 40 percent below the 2011 baseline year, and 10 percent below 2019 emissions or “pre-pandemic” levels.

As activity continues to return to a new normal, the forthcoming 2022 emissions levels are expected to rise slightly.

According to Emily Irvine, the Climate Program Manager for the City of Charlottesville, this does not necessarily mean the city is “off track” in meeting emission reduction goals.

“Ongoing efforts to reduce emissions remain relevant and timely, and new initiatives are ramping up as we move to implement the CAP to permanently reduce our collective GHG emissions.”

The community-wide inventory covers emissions from Charlottesville’s homes and businesses, industry, the transportation sector, waste and wastewater. Municipal activities by the city’s government are accounted separately in the municipal inventory.

Data comes from a variety of sources, including Dominion Energy, Charlottesville Gas, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Rivanna Authorities, the U.S. Census Bureau and Amtrak.

More information on the inventory process is available online. In addition to the inventories, there are links to the full version of the recently adopted Climate Action Plan, a summary version of the CAP and a video presentation by city staff.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.