Santa Fe County is committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. As the first step towards that goal, the County developed GHG emission inventories of County operations for 2005, 2017, and 2018 across several sectors. This data will be used to prepare a comprehensive action plan to further reduce emissions and increase resilience in the face of climate change.
In April 2021, Santa Fe County joined the Race to Zero, pledging to reduce emissions from County buildings by 60% by 2025 through renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades, and to achieve that same goal in buildings across the community by 2030. Key to success is to ensure that all new County facilities are built to specific sustainable performance design standards, detailed in the Sustainability Division's Healthy Buildings Checklist.
Santa Fe County Commissioners voted to officially support the 30x30 initiative in December 2020. A worldwide, science-based, conservation plan, the 30x30 initiative aims to conserve and restore at least 30% of the Earth’s land, rivers, streams and oceans by 2030 to protect biodiversity and curb climate change.
The County is doing its part by working to restore the landscape that falls under its management, including County open space, trails, parks, and facility grounds.
During fiscal year 2021, the County conserved 12 acres of land and planted nearly 1,500 trees and shrubs with the help of over 150 volunteers. And many other organizations throughout the County are also working hard to restore and conserve our land and water!
Santa Fe County is proud to be doing its share to be a part of the global transition to renewable energy. The electricity associated with County operations is on track to be well over 50% renewable by 2025, in line with the 2045 date of New Mexico's Energy Transition Act. Santa Fe County now has 19 facilities that are equipped with solar panels with a combined production of 1.8 megawatts:
The PV systems produce over 3 million kWh of energy annually, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 5.4 million miles driven by a passenger car, or the amount of carbon sequestered by 2,630 acres of U.S. forests in one year. This renewable energy powers services such as fire stations, senior centers, community centers, and provides clean drinking water.
In 2020 alone, the County's PV systems saved residents over $300,000. Moreover, these systems reduce approximately 2,148 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, improving air quality in New Mexico and increasing the County's climate resiliency.
2020 - SolSmart Bronze