Climate Action

Climate Action

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.

Background

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. 

Pie chart comparing city greenhouse gas emissions from 2015 and 2018

City Government Operations

Greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 18% between 2015 and 2018. Changes were due to a higher percentage of clean generation (e.g. hydropower) by our electric utility for city facilities and operations.

Click to view graphic

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

Pie chart comparing community greenhouse gas emissions between 2015 and 2018

Community

Greenhouse gas emissions increased 3% between 2015 and 2018. Changes were due, in part, to increases in additional vehicle traffic and air travel. The emissions attributed to natural gas usage in the categories of Residential and Community/Industrial Energy are developed using estimates and best available data.

Click to view graphic

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.

BOISE CLIMATE ADAPTION ASSESSMENT


What’s Next?

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.

Boise at night

Energy

Transitioning our community to clean energy

  • 100% clean electricity for our community by 2035 with affordability and access for all
  • 100% clean electricity for city operations by 2030

Actions

Geothermal

Right beneath our feet is the nation’s largest direct-use geothermal utility.

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Solar

Explore city facilities powered by the sun.

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Net Zero Building

The state of Idaho’s first-ever net zero energy building serves a unique purpose.

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Boise's Energy Future

Our plan for 100% clean electricity by 2035.

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Transportation

Prioritize alternative transportation modes and and fuels

Alternative Modes

  • 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

Alternative Fuels

  • 30% of our municipal on-road fleet are alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles
  • 68 electric vehicle charging stations at 30 different locations citywide

Actions

Keep Boise Moving

The city’s strategy for a diversified, innovative and achievable transportation system.

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Community Conversations on Transportation

Engaging Boiseans in a meaningful dialogue about the future of transportation.

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State Street Project

A plan to ease traffic and increase transit choices along the State Street corridor.

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Waste Reduction

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

Actions

Recycling

A robust effort for both businesses and residents to reduce waste.

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Hefty® EnergyBag® Program

Converting hard to recycle plastics into a valuable energy resource.

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Compost

Citywide and sustainable – a truly local cycle.

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Water

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

Actions

Water Renewal Planning

Setting the strategic direction for how we get the most out of every drop.

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Water Renewal Services

The city utility that gives new life to used water.

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Twenty Mile South Farm

A precedent-setting project pioneering a new approach to water quality.

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Open and Green Space

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.

Actions

Open Space

Protected properties for lasting conservation.

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City of Trees Challenge

The City of Boise is leading a new movement for community recovery and climate resiliency – we’ve set a big goal – and we need your help to make it happen.

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Hillside to Hollow Reserve

A new deal leads to a big win for the foothills.

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Urban Heat Map

In partnership with the Treasure Valley Canopy Network, we have a better understanding of how trees improve the quality of life for all residents.

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Food Systems

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.

Actions

Boise Urban Garden School

An organic farm teaching the fundamentals of gardening.

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Spaulding Ranch

A first of its kind demonstration and production farm.

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