General Climate Change Information
The Earth's climate is changing, and these changes will impact the natural resources, public health and infrastructure here in Sarasota.
As a City Commission priority, we are working to plan for and adapt to sea level rise, increased storm surge, and more extreme rain and heat events. We have an Internal Climate Working Group (ICWG) made up of representatives across city departments committed to analyzing city-owned infrastructure that is vulnerable and at risk to changing climatic conditions.
What are we doing?
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan
The Sarasota City Commission approved the Climate Adaptation Plan in January 2018. This plan reviewed over 200 city-owned assets and identified more than 50 as vulnerable to future climate conditions. The plan also identified high-level strategies for protecting and preserving those assets. The creation of this plan began in 2016 and required a great deal of collaboration between multiple departments, consultants, and the public. The adoption of this plan is a major milestone as we work towards becoming a resilient community, but the work is just beginning. The next step is to take the suggestions and strategies from this plan and begin to prioritize and implement them over time.
Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHGI)
We have completed a Community-wide Greenhouse Gas Report for the years 2003, 2007, 2015 and 2018. The results illustrated a 33% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions community-wide from 2003 - 2018.
Operational Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHGI)
We have completed an operational GHGI for the years 2003, 2007, and 2015. The final report showed a 23% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2003 to 2015.
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal
The City is striving to meet a GHG reduction target of 35% both community-wide and within city operations by 2025, from a 2003 baseline.
The City of Sarasota signed US Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement 2007 and is a participant of the Compact of Mayors. The Compact of Mayors represents 610 cities and established a common platform to capture the impact of cities' collective actions through standardized measurement of emissions and climate risk, and consistent public reporting of their efforts.
Collaboration & Outreach
We work closely with other local governments, non-profit, and academic organizations throughout the region to discuss climate, sea level rise, or adaptation issues. The City is a member of the Climate Council of Sarasota Manatee, a facilitated network of practitioners focused on bringing cross-sector collaboration to inform projects, policies and education around climate issues. Additionally, we present often on the climate adaptation work or sustainability efforts to neighborhood, business, or faith-based groups. If you would like to request a presentation or any other outreach please contact Stevie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 941-365-2200 xt 4202.
Climate Related Websites with Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- NASA Global Climate Change Website FAQ
- National Climate Assessment FAQ
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Climate.gov FAQ
- Bloomberg Infographic - What's Really Warming the World?
What You Can Do
- Get Perspective - calculate your carbon footprint - Half of the American personal footprint results from just four things: driving, electricity, natural gas and red meat. Find out your own footprint and strive to reduce it EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator.
- Food Waste - eat more of the food you buy. It may seem simple but this one action in preventing food waste can often cut your footprint by up to a quarter!
- Energy Reduction & Efficiency - take steps to ensure you're only using the amount of energy you really need and then make sure your home is as efficient as possible.
- Low Carbon Food Choices - Eating more low carbon foods can both slash your footprint and improve your diet. When it comes to emission, foods vary enormously. Due to their feed requirements and methane production and processing, red meat and dairy products are typically very carbon intensive. Removing red meat or dairy even for one day a week can drastically impact our footprint.
- Transportation - Walk, bike, or use public transportation and efficient cars as much as possible.
- Purchases - Choose quality over quantity when purchasing items. Avoid plastic packaging as much as possible. Spending money on local services instead of local goods can also impact your personal footprint.
(This information came from shrinkthatfootprint.com, check out their Emit This resource for other ideas.)