Washoe County Surpasses State Goal for Reducing Greenhouse Gases

by | Dec 27, 2023

At the December 12 Board of County Commissioner meeting, Washoe County Sustainability Manager Brian Beffort presented an overview of the county’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses, which showed that Washoe County has reduced its greenhouse gas output by 35.7 percent in the last 15 years, depicted in the graphic above.

In 2021, Washoe County hired nZero to monitor its greenhouse emissions in real time and produce the first full inventory of emissions countywide. Going forward 2021 will be the benchmark to gauge future reductions.

Both the State of Nevada and Washoe County have committed to reducing greenhouse emissions to net-zero* by 2050.

To stay on track to meet this goal, Washoe County needs to reduce emissions by approximately 5 percent every year to reach its 2030 target.

The County fleet of around 650 vehicles makes up 22 percent of current emissions, Washoe County is reviewing the vehicles that are appropriate to replace with electric vehicles and taking supply chain challenges into consideration.

The County also has more than 130 buildings.  Beffort will work with facilities staff to identify improvements in weatherization, energy efficiency, and renewable energy to reduce energy use and emissions in all County buildings.

Noting that Reno is one of the fastest-warming cities in the country, Beffort described a goal to create an Urban Forestry Program to plant and manage more trees.

“Staff at Washoe County have shown great leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing other sustainability best practices,” Beffort said. “I’m confident we’ll be able to meet future reduction goals and implement other programs to improve quality of life for everyone in the County.”

Watch Brian Beffort’s presentation to the BCC on December 12 here (starts at 2:09:45)

*Net-zero means reducing emissions as close to zero as possible, offsetting unavoidable by planting trees, installing renewable energy and other strategies.