DALLAS – The budget passed today by the Dallas City Council for the 2022-23 fiscal year, which includes additional funding for measures that will accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, shows city leaders take the changing climate seriously and are committed to tackling the problem. The initiatives are funded through various city departments and are part of Dallas’ Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP).
“The Dallas City Council remains committed to the city’s climate goals,” said Rita Beving, who coordinates North Texas issues for Public Citizen. “Two years ago, the Council voted unanimously for the CECAP, and today’s vote renews that commitment with substantial financial support.”
“Dallas means business on climate action,” said Adrian Shelley, director of the Texas office of Public Citizen. “All Texas’ major cities have climate plans, but few are funding as many quantifiable actions as Dallas. It’s time for our big city mayors and city councils to back their climate promises with real financial commitments.”
The budget approved today includes an additional $500,000 each for:
- CECAP implementation;
- Home weatherization and solar installation on city buildings. This is in addition to another $500,000 of American Rescue Protection Act (ARPA) funds carried over into next year’s budget;
- Battery storage for city buildings; and
- More bike lanes
The budget includes carryover funds totaling another $150,000 for weatherization and $250,000 for solar installation for low-income neighborhoods.
An environmental justice coordinator is among six staff the City will hire as part of a $2.5 million increase for the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability (OEQS).
Additionally, a $500,000 budget allocation for environmental outreach with a multimedia approach, including other languages such as Spanish, will help educate residents and businesses on reducing their carbon footprint.
“The hiring of critically needed staff and the money for new initiatives and outreach will help expand and accelerate the measures needed to attain the goals of the CECAP,” added Beving, who also serves as a technical advisor to the Dallas Environmental Commission. “Still, the City can do more. For example, Dallas needs more public EV charging stations, and this new budget does not contain specific funding to make it happen.”
Dallas is also making strides in electrifying its vehicles. The City’s fleet department plans to purchase up to 167 electric vehicles as part of the budget approved today and another 67 yet to be purchased under the current budget.
The Dallas City Council approved CECAP in 2020 after a two-year stakeholder process. The CECAP aims for a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and a goal for net zero carbon by 2050. Dallas is a signatory to the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda.