Mesa Climate Action Plan Drives Sustainable Change for Mesa

April 16, 2024 at 11:45 am

Since adopting the Mesa Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in 2021, the City has invested $15.4 million in climate projects to help reach its carbon neutrality goals by 2050. The funds have supported projects in various Mesa departments that advance clean air initiatives, heat mitigation, smart energy use, water stewardship, sustainable food systems, and materials management.

These initiatives show that Mesa is serious about our climate action goals. We are making progress, but we need to keep working hard to make our community more resilient. We have a good plan, and we need to keep moving forward, said Mayor John Giles upon receiving an update on the status of MCAP projects at the April 15 Mesa City Council study session.

Investments in the MCAP have enhanced the Citys infrastructure to be more climate-efficient by replacing streetlights, electrifying Mesas fleet and supporting utility-scale solar projects. Other initiatives, such as Grass-to-Xeriscape, are engaging the public to take part in sustainability efforts. The program provides a benefit of up to $1,100 to homeowners who replace their water-thirsty lawns with a desert-friendly landscape.

Goodwill is not enough to help the environment. Mesa has taken decisive climate-forward steps to support MCAP. These investments are future-proofing Mesa and allowing us to plan for healthier and more sustainable communities, said Mesa City Manager Chris Brady. Reaching Mesas climate goals involves all City departments, and I am proud of how invested they are in driving their projects to make a difference in the environment.

Some of Mesas sustainability projects launched in the past three years include:

The Flare to Fuel Project will convert methane gas flared from the water treatment plant into renewable natural gas for City vehicles. This project is the first phase of the Food Waste to Energy Project.

The Trees Are Cool Initiative with a new shade tree program for Mesa Electric customers, community tree planting events, and new trees in parks, at transit stops, and around City buildings supports Mesas efforts to plant 1,000,000 new trees by 2050.

An agreement with SRP supports a program that uses materials from forest thinning projects as biomass to generate renewable energy, restores resilient forests in northern Arizona and protects Mesas watershed.

Enhancements to the Water Use It Wisely regional water conservation campaign significantly increased outreach visibility.

Through its investments in MCAP, Mesa has successfully secured over $14 million in grant funding to supplement sustainability efforts. Projects include:

Implementing the Citys Electric Vehicle Action Plan through an $11.8 million Department of Transportation grant to strengthen the Citys public electric charging network

Removing non-functional turf at more than 50 Mesa parks

Enhancing outdoor water conservation program for non-residential customers

Increasing community sustainability literacy through a partnership with Mesa Public Schools for urban forestry education and a school tree-planting program

Implementing energy efficiency projects at Mesa buildings

Deploying focused tree plantings in underserved neighborhoods

Developing model heat, energy, and water efficiency building codes for the desert southwest.

To further drive MCAP, Mesa has committed another $5.4 million for fiscal year 24/25 of which a significant portion will fund solar and electric vehicle charging for Mesa vehicles. Other projects include additional LED lighting conversions at sports fields, continued work on the food waste-to-energy project, grass removal at municipal buildings and more neighborhood tree-planting programs.

To learn more about Mesas climate action plan and our community-focused goals,