Regionwide Greenhouse Gas Inventory
As part of the guiding framework to increase resilience in East Central Florida, the R2C undertook a proactive approach to reduce our risks, vulnerabilities, and regionwide greenhouse gas emissions. As the Collaborative works toward mitigation and adaptation efforts, it acknowledges the region's contribution of greenhouse gas emissions which exacerbate long-term stressors such as our changing climate and our communities' vulnerabilities. As you cannot effectively manage what you do not measure, reducing our carbon footprint is one of the most relevant efforts our region can face head-on.
A region-wide greenhouse gas emission inventory will help our region understand the scope and scale of our emissions. Emission sources and activities have been evaluated and attributed gas emissions quantified. This type of inventory provides a consistent measurement with a base for informed decision-making and a wide range of emissions reduction opportunities. Moreover, it is an optimal approach to forecast emissions, measure community performance, and transition toward integrated climate action planning.
R2C Inventory Methodology
The R2C's Regional Greenhouse Gas Inventory Advisory Committee underwent an intricate data collection and management process, which was executed by establishing a regionwide consistent 2019 baseline and measurement of transportation, energy, and waste data. To track the information over time consistently, the R2C utilized a unified platform (ICLEI's ClearPath tool) and built relationships with data providers. About ninety-one (91) regional service providers were surveyed for data collection purposes from four emitting sectors; this accounted for twenty-three (23) energy providers (electric and gas), nine (9) transportation service providers (transit and rail), one (1) municipal solid waste data source, and fifty-eight (58) water and wastewater service entities (for the purpose of gaining greater energy usage-by-category understanding). In addition, data research was conducted to obtain county-specific on-road vehicle information for further emissions calculations. Nevertheless, after ten months of communication efforts and substantial yet insufficient data collection, the committee had to seek external data sources due to a lack of cooperation from a significant number of energy providers. Thus, after careful consideration, in response to the considerable data gap, the R2C partnered with Google, along with ICLEI's guidance, to use Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) 2019 per county energy-related and transportation (on-road vehicles) data in order to complete the region-wide inventory. To ensure data validity for the region, the committee conducted a series of engagement workshops with Google, ICLEI, and several regional entities (i.e., cities, counties, transportation organizations) to discuss the benefits and the potential shortcomings of this data source and its methodologies. After valuable feedback, the R2C decided to utilize Google’s EIE data as a base for calculations, making relevant regional and county-specific energy usage (electricity and natural gas activity data) calculation adjustments for accuracy. The use of EIE data, in combination with the country-specific waste and rail data acquired through initial data collection efforts, resulted in the development of inventories conducted for each of the 8 counties in the region. This data was then aggregated for region-wide results, providing the inventory that the R2C is proudly able to present today.
High Level Findings
Consistent measurements: transportation, energy & waste
Unified platform for tracking
Activity and Google EIE data utilized
46,968,766 Metric Tons of CO2e
Upon inventory completion, the Collaborative, along ICLEI's assistance, has been able to establish a science-based target (SBT) for the region, and is currently working to identify and define a series of high impact actions (HIA) to reduce emissions across the region and achieve the set absolute target of 54.3% reduction by 2030.
Vision: Science-based targets reflect the need to maintain global temperatures below 1.5°C and a global emissions reduction of 50% by 2030. The target builds a shared vision to achieve reduction, spur innovation and collaboration.
Target: In support of the United States goal, the East Central Florida region's absolute target is a 54.3% emissions reduction from the 2019 inventory findings.
Absolute Target: The most compatible with local government methodologies, absolute targets consider population growth and offer definitive reduction.
Action: The East Central Florida Region will use the target to define and guide a series of high-impact actions to reduce emissions.
High Impact Actions
Based on inventory results and emissions forecast, a HIA analysis was conducted, yielding six action areas (see below) with substantial levels of emissions reduction impacts for the East Central Florida region.
Currently, the R2C is working to collect additional region-specific data that can influence the level of emissions reduction impact for these actions. Supplementary data will provide higher quality estimates on reduction percentages and amounts (metric tons) of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per each action identified.
East Central Florida Policy Planning for Greenhouse Gases Emissions Reduction
Land use and development planning and coordination are essential components for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and, thus, to the level of success each high impact action implementation can have. The East Central Florida Strategic Regional Policy Plan (also known as the East Central Florida 2060 Plan. See document link below) provides goals and policies intended to guide and inform local decision-making toward development planning and sustainability. Included in the Policy Plan are recommended policies for buildings energy efficiency-related codes (i.e., lighting and appliances, construction practices, site design, reuse of existing buildings, etc.), renewable energy use and production (i.e., solar), land use development for the reduction of vehicle miles traveled, vehicle fleet conversions and use of more efficient/low-emissions vehicles, reduction of heat island effects, and others.
The East Central Florida Regional Resilience Collaborative (R2C) has committed to becoming Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) compliant by pursuing and undertaking concrete and long-term impact actions to tackle the interconnected challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as access to sustainable energy. In doing so, the R2C pledges to:
Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,
Prepare for the impacts of climate change,
Increase access to sustainable energy, and
Track progress toward these objectives.
In an effort to further the work motivated by the established High Impact Actions, the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, in junction with the Regional Resilience Collaborative, has committed to become a SolSmart designated region. This designation will allow for the local governments, residents, and businesses of the East Central Florida region to install solar energy systems at an expedited rate and affordable cost.
To read the full commitment letter, click the icon
Within the region, five cities and counties have already been designated as SolSmart communities. They are as follows:
Orange County - SolSmart Gold Designation
The City of Orlando - SolSmart Gold Designation
The City of Satellite Beach - SolSmart Gold Designation
The City of Winter Park - SolSmart Gold Designation
The City of Maitland - SolSmart Silver Designation
As an integral component of the GHG inventory development process, the R2C partnered with ICLEI- an international non-governmental organization that promotes sustainable development and provides technical consulting to meet sustainability objectives. ICLEI's ClearPath tool was utilized to easily and accurately calculate regionwide CO2e emissions.
For local governments looking to conduct their own GHG inventories but are unable to partner (contract) with ICLEI, the R2C recommends exploring the City Inventory Reporting and Information System (CIRIS), a C40 Cities emissions calculation free tool.