Climate Action Plan.

About the Climate Action Plan
Over the winter of 2021-22, the City is preparing its first-ever Climate Action Plan. This plan will lay the foundation for the community to meet the City & State of Vermont's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction and climate targets over the coming years and decades.
The City Council has set up a Climate Action Plan Task Force to lead the drafting of this Plan by staff from the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, serving in a consulting capacity, and City Planning & Zoning staff. All meetings of the Task Force are open to the public and will be held in a hybrid (in-person and remote online) format.

Structure of the Plan
Phase 1: Principal Climate Action Plan

Using the Climate Action Goals set by Council, the Plan will:
  • Evaluate current and projected energy and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Affirm targets, or a range of targets, to be achieved within each energy sector
  • Identify and evaluate measurable “pathways” by which targets in each sector can be achieved in South Burlington
  • Set the foundation for the sector-specific Implementation Plans
  • Related work: The City is concurrently updating its All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, which will include assessment of risks and recommendations for adaptation to the changing landscape. 

Phase II: Sector-Specific Climate Action Implementation Plan(s)
Recognizing the scale of this planning effort, the proposal last winter included separating the implementation plan from the Principal Plan. Where the Principal Plan will lay out a set of clear, measurable pathways to meet the City’s Climate goals, the Implementation Plan(s) will provide a deeper dive into the specific actions to be taken to meet these goals. This could include developing specific policies, incentives, regulations, and partnerships to meet the Climate goals.
Each Sector’s Implementation Plan will be tailored to the needs of the sector. The first of these – Transportation (the City’s largest energy sector) will be developed concurrently with the Principal Climate Action Plan in FY 22. Others, to include sectors such as energy production and use, building heating and cooling, land use, and government operations, will follow based on funding availability.

Overall Project Schedule

November / December 2021: Task Force first meetings, finalize consultant scope of work
December-February: Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Analysis
February-March: Public Input on possible pathways to meeting the City's Climate Change commitments
February-April: Task Force review and development of Pathways
April-May: Public input on Draft Pathways
May-June: Complete Draft Plan; Task Force review, approval, and submittal to City Council 


Council Resolutions

The City Council has adopted three important resolutions laying the foundation for this work:
2017 City Council Resolution on Climate Change
2021 City Council Climate Change Resolution
2021 Climate Action Plan Task Force Charter 


Related Resources
Vermont Climate Action Plan, adopted by the Vermont Climate Council December 2021


For More Information

Contact Paul Conner, Director of Planning & Zoning and Chief Sustainability officer, at (802) 846-4106 or pconner@sburl.com