The City of Boise is taking bold steps to address climate change. We are committed to ensuring that Boise is a resilient city in the face of climate change. We believe it is critical that Boise works to mitigate climate impacts and innovate around the creation of a robust climate economy.
In 2000, the city began collecting data to develop a baseline of information to understand our current conditions to determine where we can take action in mitigating climate change.
Greenhouse Gas Inventories
The use of fossil fuels including coal, natural gas and petroleum to power our buildings and transportation systems is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, Idaho and Boise.
The City of Boise collects greenhouse gas (GHG) data to track the sources and quantities of emissions from city government operations and the community. Totals are shown in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (MT CO2e), which is a standard unit for measuring greenhouse gases. Boise, and other cities, use approved inventory and data collection methods to develop greenhouse gas emissions inventories.
The city government/operations GHG emissions inventory generally quantifies emissions from energy usage at city buildings, facilities and streetlights, fleet vehicles, employee commute and waste materials from city facilities that are landfilled. While City facilities have expanded during this timeframe, emissions have decreased 18.7% from 2015 to 2018 and 12.5% from 2015 to 2019. This decrease is a result of reduced fossil fuel usage in utility electricity generation supported by efforts in energy efficiency and renewables.
2019 at a Glance
Buildings and Facilities−heating, cooling and powering city-owned buildings and facilities
Water Renewal−heating, cooling and powering water renewal (wastewater treatment) facilities, as well as emissions created from water renewal by-products
Vehicle Fleet−city owned vehicles
Street Lights−powering street lights
Solid Waste−trash disposal from city-owned facilities
The community GHG emissions inventory generally quantifies emissions from residential, commercial and industrial energy use (electricity and natural gas), transportation (on and off-road vehicles and air travel) and waste (materials that are landfilled). Community emissions have increased slightly from 2015 to 2019. This increase is a result of increased emissions from the transportation sector over the four year period.
2019 at a Glance
Residential Energy−heating, cooling and powering homes
Commercial/Industrial Energy−heating, cooling and powering businesses and industry
Water Renewal−heating, cooling and powering water renewal (wastewater treatment) facilities, as well as emissions created from water renewal by products
Transportation−vehicles, air travel, and off-road equipment
Solid Waste−trash disposal and compost
Boise Climate Adaption Assessment
A 2016 Climate Adaptation Assessment led by the University of Idaho and conducted specifically for the City of Boise to measure climate impacts in the Treasure Valley outlined eight impacts for our region. From increased drought frequency, poor air quality from large fires, and heat stress days, the City of Boise and the Treasure Valley will face significant climate challenges.
The City of Boise is creating its first-ever climate action plan. We will craft solutions with the community, ensuring it is representative of our broad and diverse city and reflects the energy, transportation, economic and environmental values of residents and businesses.
While the development of a climate action plan will require considerable technical, data and policy analysis, it will also be built around a comprehensive community engagement effort. Working with a national expert, the climate action plan will exemplify Boise’s values and unique climate challenges and opportunities. The plan will emphasize health and equity for all Boiseans as a focal point for developed actions and will be supported by an environmental justice and health equity baseline report.
Prioritize alternative transportation modes and and fuels
- 24,028 trips completed on green bikes just in the last year, causing a reduction of 55,464 pounds of carbon emissions, the equivalent of 2,395 fewer gallons of gas being consumed
- 750 electric scooters and 153,000 miles in trips traveled so far
- 30% of our municipal on-road fleet are alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles
- 68 electric vehicle charging stations at 30 different locations citywide
Reduce waste sent to the landfill
The current systems and processes within the city achieve:
- 30,000 tons of compost collected last year
- 40% of residential waste was diverted from the landfill since 2015
- 11,000 tons of recycled materials collected last year
- 350 tons of hard-to-recycle plastics collected through the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program
Integrating efficient design and materials recovery at our water renewal facilities
- Gases produced from the water renewal process are used to heat onsite facility buildings.
- Phosphorus (struvite) produced in the water renewal process is used for fertilizer
- Organic by-products from the water renewal process are applied at Twenty Mile South Farm, a city-owned facility where agricultural crops are grown.
- Energy efficient systems are implemented at water renewal facilities
Protect and preserve green and open space in Boise
To date, the city has:
- 12 reserves, totaling 5,000 acres, managed and owned by the City of Boise
- 84 developed city parks
In 2001 and again in 2015, voters showed support for open space preservation, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreational opportunities in the Boise Foothills by passing levies to raise over $20 million for this effort.
Increase local food production and security
Last year, the city was able to:
- Harvest 2,260 pounds of produce from Boise Urban Garden School
- Produce 50,000 tons of forage crops from biosolids generated through water renewal
To date, the city current has 6 community gardens and supports an additional 14 around the community.
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