Greenhouse Gas Emissions

City sets goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050

In May 2016, Mayor Greg Fischer signed the Global Covenant of Mayors, an agreement signed by over 9,000 cities across the world, which commits us to inventory and develop a strategy to reduce Louisville’s greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, cities play a major role in these efforts as 70% of greenhouse gas emissions come from cities. 
Greenhouse gases get trapped in the atmosphere, which causes warming and leads to climate change. These gases are emitted when we drive, turn on the lights in our homes and buildings, and when waste breaks down in the landfill, among other sources.
The city’s reduction commitment is a three step process:
  • Conduct a greenhouse gas inventory: An inventory is complete and determined that Louisville reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10.1% from 2010 to 2016. You may review the inventory overview, fact sheet and complete report
  • Set a reduction target: A greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050 has been set. View press release.
  • Create a strategy to meet that target: A Draft Emissions Reduction Plan has been released (see below). 

Draft Emissions Reduction Plan

*Public comments are currently being reviewed.

Draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) was created to set Louisville on a path to achieve its 80% reduction target. The strategies included in the plan were derived from best practices demonstrated by peer cities and reflect our best understanding of where current trends will take us in the years ahead. As a forward-looking document, the ERP is intended to be flexible in nature as new and improved technologies, regulatory changes, and our connection with the global economy continue to drive change in our community.

Louisville Metro also recognizes that since its 80% reduction target was set, recent scientific reports have expressed the need for more urgent and accelerated action to avoid irreversible impacts of climate change (see 2018 IPCC Special Report on Global Warming). In response, we will pursue more aggressive actions that propel Louisville beyond the 80% reduction target and improve the health and quality of life of residents for generations to come.

Why does reducing greenhouse gases matter? 

In Louisville, climate change is causing temperatures to rise and more extreme weather events to occur. These changes are leading to more frequent rain events and flooding, challenges in food productions, more rapidly aging infrastructure, and higher energy costs. These emissions also affect the health of our residents. Higher greenhouse gas emissions contribute to adverse health outcomes including respiratory and cardiovascular stress and asthma. 

For more information on the Prepare Louisville campaign to increase our resilience to extreme weather, click here.