RECAP: A Review of Columbus' Climate Action Plan Efforts

City and Regional Planning Independent Study / Spring 2022 / Kimberly Burton

RECAP: A Review of Columbus' Climate Action Plan Efforts

Columbus skyline

RECAP: A Review of Columbus' Climate Action Planning Efforts
Bethany Bella

This project reviews the inaugural City of Columbus climate action plan (CAP) published in December 2021. The project reviews, among other content, the CAP greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. Other climate national action planning efforts and related regional initiatives are reviewed to provide additional context. This project also summarizes key points contained in the Columbus CAP and outlines the next steps for the achievement of the CAP goals and objectives.

Columbus’ inaugural climate action plan advances the municipal agenda for climate action in America’s 14th largest city. The Columbus CAP includes 32 actions organized by 6 sectors and 13 strategies to achieve its 2050 climate-neutral target. This ambitious target aligns with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) urgent timeline of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, based on pre-industrial (1850-1900) estimates.

Next steps for Columbus:

  • Sustainable Columbus, the city’s cross-departmental sustainability initiative, will oversee the management of the CAP as a “living document,” while coordinating with lead agencies and implementation partners for the actualization of all listed actions.
  • Work Groups have been established for each sector of the CAP (Climate Solutions, Sustainable Neighborhoods, Buildings, Transportation, and Waste) to ensure accountability and transparency of all actions pursued as part of the CAP.
  • Annual reporting on key metrics and greenhouse gas emissions will continue, per the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories guidelines and accounting requirements.
  • Sustainable Columbus will also provide oversight to ensure implementation is reaching and benefiting all community members – fulfilling its climate justice pledge outlined early in the CAP process.


K Burton Headshot

Kimberly Burton

Associate Professor of Practice