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City of Alexandria Responds to Ongoing Climate Crisis, Establishes New Office of Climate Action 

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Image: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

ALEXANDRIA, VA – At its September 28 Legislative Meeting, the Alexandria City Council authorized $1.85 million for the establishment of an Office of Climate Action to respond to the ongoing climate crisis which continues to impact the well-being of our community.

The creation of the city’s Office of Climate Action marks a monumental achievement aimed at combating climate change through a city-wide approach to empower the Alexandria community to actively participate and contribute to sustainable action.

“I’m excited to bring the city’s Office of Climate Action to fruition. This office will give us the organization, attention and focus to lead meaningful climate action in our community,” said City of Alexandria Mayor, Justin Wilson. “I want to thank the Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) for their thoughtful consideration and recommendations reflected in this investment.”

Alexandria has launched a nation-wide search for a Climate Action Officer to serve as the public face of Alexandria’s climate efforts (job posting here). This individual will partner with residents, businesses, nonprofits and governmental agencies to meet shared climate, sustainability and energy objectives. To herald this critical work, a Public Affairs and Engagement Specialist will also be recruited to undertake community-focused implementation, education and outreach programs.

This community has a long history of fighting the climate crisis. As the first locality in Virginia to adopt an Eco-City Charter in 2008, the City of Alexandria has been at the forefront of progressive environmental change and action at the local level. In 2011, the Alexandria City Council passed the Energy and Climate Change Action Plan (ECCAP) to promote actions towards reducing the Alexandria community’s operational greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, the City declared a Climate Emergency and adopted its Environmental Action Plan (EAP) 2040 which established a target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030, and 80-100% by 2050.

“The Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) looks forward to continuing to work with the new City Manager and his staff to find specific, measurable decarbonization actions to meet City Council’s target of cutting our carbon emissions in half by 2030,” said EPC Chair, Kathie Hoekstra. “Many of these actions will in turn result in improved health and reduced energy burden for our most vulnerable, as well as a more comfortable, sustainable, and resilient community.”

Given the City’s historic efforts to help climate efforts, the formation of a centralized climate office is a timely milestone. The Office of Climate Action will lead efforts in a variety of areas, including but not limited to, energy efficiency, high performance buildings, renewable energy, climate change mitigation and reporting, electric mobility, business assistance, community engagement, and advocacy.

The Climate Action Officer and Public Affairs and Engagement Specialist will join five reallocated employees from the partnering departments to form the City’s Office of Climate Action. The overall composition of the Office of Climate Action both recognizes the prior and ongoing efforts across City departments and aims to set up an implementation and partnership-oriented approach. The Office of Climate Action will work closely with City departments, other governmental entities, and the community in achieving EAP2040 and ECCAP commitments.

Visit to learn more about the City’s strategic effort to achieve sustainability.

SEE ALSO: $1.9 Million Awarded to 18 Alexandria Nonprofits for Community Access and Emergency Support Grants

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