Written By: Prince William County
Recently, the Board of County Supervisors officially adopted the Community Energy and Sustainability Master Plan, or CESMP. This is a major step forward in accomplishing the county’s Climate Mitigation and Resiliency goals, which the Board endorsed in 2020. Those goals include:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 50 percent below baseline 2005 levels by 2030.
- Achieving 100 percent renewable electricity in Prince William County government operations by 2030.
- Sourcing 100 percent of Prince William County’s electricity from renewable sources by 2035.
- Achieving 100 percent carbon neutrality in Prince William County government operations by 2050.
- Develop climate resilient actions to move towards being a Climate Ready Region by 2030.
The CESMP serves as a roadmap to help the county to meet its climate mitigation and resiliency goals. The plan was developed by the county’s Office of Sustainability and other core agencies, and included engagement with key stakeholders, including the Sustainability Commission, the Joint Environmental Taskforce, community partners, civic associations, utilities, local environmental organizations and Prince William County Public Schools. Feedback was also solicited from the public through multiple surveys and town hall sessions.
The CESMP proposes recommended actions that Prince William County government can take to meet the county’s climate mitigation and resiliency goals. Those actions include:
- Encouraging transit-oriented development;
- Launching a suburban and rural tree-planting initiative;
- Promoting renewable energy incentive programs;
- Installing solar on county government facilities;
- Implementing shoreline protection and nature-based solutions;
- Restoring streams to reduce flooding; and
- Adopting natural open space requirements, among other actions.
The recommended CESMP actions align with Prince William County’s Comprehensive Plan and the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan.
“I very much appreciate all of the efforts of the Office of Sustainability, the Sustainability Commission and the many other county agencies that worked diligently to create this plan,” said Prince William County Executive Christoper Shorter. “This is such an important step in helping the county accomplish its Climate Mitigation and Resiliency goals because it provides direction on what can be done in the future, if the Board chooses to take those actions. In the meantime, staff will continue to develop a system to track and measure climate mitigation and resiliency, collaborate between agencies to take action and pursue grants and other opportunities to work with regional partners. “
More information about the CESMP can be found on the county’s website.