Community & Human Development

Office of Climate & Sustainability

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the City of El Paso submitted the Preliminary Climate Action Plan (PCAP) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The City of El Paso was awarded $1,000,000 through a non-competitive EPA grant, the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant (CPRG), which kicked off the PCAP effort. This PCAP document serves as the first step to apply for additional competitive EPA grant funding (CPRG II). This opportunity positions states, local governments, tribes and territories to develop and implement plans that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the past 9 months, the City of El Paso has forged strong relationships with 11 municipal partners to develop the PCAP while community outreach efforts helped to inform the direction of the plan. 

See the Full PCAP Document  See Survey Results from Outreach Efforts

 

Climate SurveyThe Office of Climate and Sustainability works to implement programs and projects that enhance sustainability and resilience across the city and municipal operations. The team collaborates with other department, governmental institutions, and community partners.

The City of El Paso is in the preliminary stages of developing a Community Climate Action Plan to chart a path toward reducing GHG emissions. The city is planning for the potential impacts caused by local changes in climate.

Climate Action Planning

In July 2023, the El Paso Region was awarded a $1M grant, under EPA´s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program, that will help El Paso to develop and implement its first Climate Action Plan focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, other harmful air pollution and address climate-related vulnerabilities.  The City will start developing the Climate Action Plan in the fall of 2023 to finalize it by 2025.

See CPRG Workplan

Renewable Energy 

Renewable Energy

The Regional Renewable Energy Advisory Council (RREAC) advises the City Council as an Ad Hoc Committee on all matters related to renewable energy strategy and industry development. 

The RREAC’s Strategic Plan, approved in 2021, focuses on four pillars:  

  1. Education, Outreach, and Advocacy
  2. Municipal Energy
  3. Industry Development
  4. Renewable Energy Infrastructure

Municipal Energy 

Municipal Energy

With more than 200 assets and 1,000 energy accounts, the City of El Paso is one of the largest consumers of energy (electricity and natural gas) in the Region. Acknowledging this, the City included the development of an Urban Energy Plan as one of its 25 by 25 Strategic Projects. To develop it, the City has convened an internal Cross-Functional Team, based on the RREAC’s pillars, to produce and implement the plan. 

Municipal Energy Update Presentation

Resilient El Paso

The City of El Paso was part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative. In December 2014, El Paso joined leading cities around the world in hiring its first Chief Resilience Officer (CRO). The CRO is an innovative position in city government that reports directly to the city’s chief executive and acts as the city’s point person for resilience building, coordinating all of the city’s resilience efforts. 

Today, the City of El Paso has now permanently incorporated the role of the Chief Resilience Officer within its organizational structure. From March 2015 - December 2016, the City of El Paso conducted over 95 community engagement events, and 21 stakeholder work sessions and piloted 11 test projects. Our team communicated with just under 12,000 El Pasoans face-to-face and approximately 70,000 via digital means over the course of this work. 

Beginning with the approval of the strategy in February 2018, the Chief Resilience Officer is charged with stewardship of resilience practice as part of El Paso’s future strategic planning as well as in regular municipal operations.

The introduction of resilience thinking in the context of city strategic planning allowed an opportunity for integration across multiple areas of concern such as economic development, city planning, community development, and municipal operations just to name a few. 

Urban Heat

Urban Heat Mapping and Heat Perceptions Study: This two-year study (2020-2021) was supported by NOAA’s National Integrated Health Information System (NIHHIS) program, the North American Development Bank (NADB), and EPA’s 2020 US-Mexico Border Program.

In 2020, the Heat Watch Campaign was conducted with help from UTEP, community-based organizations, and the regional National Weather Service office. 41 volunteers collected more than 66,000 temperature and humidity measurements that were used to develop El Paso’s urban heat map. The area covered was 105 sq. miles within city limits. 

Additionally, to produce high-resolution descriptions of the distribution of temperature and humidity (heat index) across El Paso, the project successfully engaged with the community and created lasting partnerships to better understand and address the inequitable threat of extreme heat. 

In 2021, the second phase of the project focused on communicating the results and collecting feedback from the community. Two workshops took place with stakeholders and the community. UTEP’s Center for Inter-American and Border Studies (CIBS) developed a heat perception survey that was distributed to the community via digital platforms. The answers collected allowed to better understand how the community perceives heat and its inherent risks associated with it. 

Summary Report Heat Watch

Maps
Open Science Framework (OSF)
Web App
Web Map