Global warming is now recognized by 97 percent of climate scientists as a significant threat to the planet. Human activities resulting in the release of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” are causing average air and water temperatures to rise, changing the amounts and intensity of rainfall, and causing a rise in sea levels. A warming planet will have serious impacts at both a global scale and more locally in the City of Falls Church.
In 2013, Falls Church joined the Clean Air Cities campaign that supports use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off catastrophic climate change. Also in 2013, the City joined the Green Power Communities Program of the Environmental Protection Agency. The City overall is using more than 4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is enough green power to meet the 3 percent requirement set by EPA. The community is generating renewable energy and buying renewable energy certificates (RECs).
Despite these positive steps, the City has not established clear goals for reducing carbon pollution from City facilities or from the residential and commercial sectors of the City. Without clear targets and the programs needed to make attainment of the targets a reality, the City progress in this area can only be described as limited.