Hartford’s Climate Targets

In Hartford, we’ve seen increasingly severe weather, and even, people migrating from different places to escape the devastation of hurricanes. Acknowledging the very real effects of climate change, the City of Hartford’s Energy Improvement District Board  updated its Comprehensive Plan with recommendations from the Governor’s Council on Climate Change’s 2018 report, which aims for GHG reductions 45 percent below 2001 levels by 2030 throughout Hartford.

To get a more accurate picture of existing emissions, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability has worked with a variety of groups, including the local grassroots organization PACE as well as Google’s Geo for Good unit.

Their work is available at insights.sustainability.google, which has local emissions data for the most recently completed calendar year, 2018. Notably, the Google inventory was completed in partnership with local volunteers and City staff from the Office of Sustainability.

Google EIE

Once the current baseline was completed, establishing a baseline emissions profile was a little challenging due to a lack of easily available data for 2001. In partnership with the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, we used an “apportionment” approach which basically divvyed up the state’s 2001 greenhouse gas emissions, and assigned a portion to Hartford based on average population figures.

For Hartford, that looks like:

State Population Hartford Population
2014 3,600,188 124,700
2015 3,593,862 124,338
2016 3,587,685 123,679
3-yr avg 3,593,912 124,239
State-wide Emissions Total (MMTCO2e) Hartford Emissions based on apportionment (MMTCO2e)
1990 45.18 1.56
2001 49.22 1.70
2016 41.13 1.42

So, we have Hartford 2001 greenhouse gas emissions at 1.7 MMTCO2e. If we look at our Google Environmental Insights Explorer for Hartford from 2018, we see that the current emissions for the community (including buildings and transportation) is 1.43 MMTC02e. Although this is a 16 percent reduction, this might not be entirely accurate, due to a difference in methodology.

In addition to a communitywide goal, Mayor Bronin signed Hartford onto the “We’re Still In” pledge. This commits to reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with municipal operations (like schools, city buildings, and more) as outlined in the Paris Agreement. As a result, our targets for city operations include a 26 to 28 percent reduction below 2005 levels by 2025. Local emissions are tracked, in part, through our energy dashboard, which integrates with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Portfolio Manager helps building managers track emissions. It is also a recommended tool in our Energy Equity Challenge

Currently, we anticipate savings related to a lighting upgrade at a series of facilities, including the Department of Public Works, City Hall, SAND School, and the Public Safety Complex, including an 18% energy reduction related to lighting. These energy reductions will translate to additional greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Additional local community organizations signing onto the “We’re Still In” commitment in Hartford include Trinity College and The Hartford. These organizations have done exceptional work on sustainability issues. Learn more at Trinity College and The Hartford.