December 13, 2022 | From City of New Orleans

Mayor Cantrell Joins Renewable Energy Leaders to Release Plan for New Orleans to Reach Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the City of New Orleans Office of Resilience and Sustainability today released the City’s 2022 Climate Action Plan.

The strategies and goals outlined in the plan will result in a greener and more equitable New Orleans. The plan calls for a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. 

“Our city bears witness daily to the dangerous and costly effects of the climate crisis," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "Vulnerable cities like ours around the world are leading the fight against climate change, and our updated Climate Action Plan sets ambitious goals to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by the mid-century. It also lays the groundwork for a cleaner and safer community for decades, while also allowing our residents and businesses to equitably participate in the new green economy. I look forward to our City continuing to be a worldwide leader in sustainability while building a better, cleaner, greener and brighter future for the City of New Orleans.”

The Climate Action Plan takes a comprehensive approach to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the city by identifying strategies and actions in five key areas: economic growth, energy, transportation, waste and adaptation & nature-based solutions. In total, the plan identifies 12 strategies and 44 supporting actions to help achieve carbon emission reductions. It also identifies 21 key performance indicators for the city to track progress moving forward. 

Each of the actions included in the plan and were identified and evaluated based on their potential for reducing emissions while also promoting equity, public health and community resilience. Some of the major actions outlined in the plan include:  

  • Economic Growth:  
    • Prioritizing City investments in clean energy 
    • Establishing a regional green bank with Finance New Orleans 
    • Promoting sustainable business practices and green jobs 
  • Energy:  
    • Reaching 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 
    • Generating more clean energy locally, including the expansion of rooftop and ground-mounted solar throughout the city 
    • Using less energy in our buildings  
  • Transportation:  
    • Diversifying our travel choices to increase our share of non-automobile trips 
    • Expanding electric vehicle usage and charging infrastructure 
  • Waste:  
    • Increasing recycling rates through new infrastructure and public education 
  • Adaptation & Nature-Based Solutions:  
    • Increasing green infrastructure and our urban tree canopy 
    • Making our energy and water infrastructure more resilient  

The City’s first Climate Action Plan, published in 2017, established the goal of a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 based on global agreements made at the 2015 Paris Climate Accords to hold the increase in global average temperature to “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to “pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius." This updated plan keeps the City in alignment with the Paris Agreement by establishing the net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 goal while adjusting the City’s interim goal of a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions to 2035 due primarily to the timeline for achieving a clean, local electricity grid. The updated plan and actions were created in conjunction with C40 Cities, an international network of cities focused on climate action. 

"The climate action plan is a commitment to create a climate action economy that supports resilience and affordable low carbon transportation and energy solutions," said Laura Jay, C40 Regional Director, North America. "As a C40 city, New Orleans continues to raise its ambition and is already working to implement the critical actions in the plan while inspiring climate leadership alongside other climate leading cities from around the world."

This is an exciting time for the city to pursue bold climate goals, with millions of dollars available in federal funding now for resilient and sustainable projects,” said Deputy Chief Resilience Officer Greg Nichols. “Setting ambitious goals is the first step, but there is a lot of work ahead of us. We look forward to implementing this plan and working with residents and businesses to take aggressive actions to reduce our carbon emissions.” 

Mayor Cantrell made the announcement of the new plan today at a convening of renewable energy leaders at the University of New Orleans for the city’s Communities Local Energy Action Program (C-LEAP) workshop. New Orleans was one of 22 communities nationwide selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for this “first-of-its-kind” initiative designed to help energy-overburdened communities take direct control of their clean energy future. 

C-LEAP will help the City further develop climate action strategies to develop distributed solar generation with battery storage and district-scale microgrids. The program will also provide long-term jobs and economic opportunities in green industries. 

The local C-LEAP workshop is being held at the Louisiana Wind Energy Hub at the University of New Orleans, which was established this year to support the state’s emerging wind energy economy. 

The Climate Action Plan was developed by the Office of Resilience and Sustainability with support and collaboration from many key partners, stakeholders and public agencies, including the State of Louisiana, New Orleans Health Department, City Planning Department, New Orleans City Council, Department of Parks and Parkways, Office of Human Rights & Equity, Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, Regional Transit Authority, Alliance for Affordable Energy, Finance New Orleans, New Orleans Business Alliance, Green Coast Enterprises, Posigen, Sierra Club Delta Chapter, Blue Krewe, Ride New Orleans, LifeCity, Committee for a Better New Orleans, Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, Audubon Louisiana, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, The Water Collaborative, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Sustain Our Urban Landscape (SOUL), NOLA Tree Project, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Friends of the Lafitte Greenway, Greenlight New Orleans, Tulane University Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and the Port of New Orleans. 

New Orleans continues to push forward on initiatives that will help the City achieve these aggressive new targets, including reducing emissions from public facilities, installing green infrastructure, trees and greenspace, improving our transit system, transitioning to zero-emission transportation and reducing waste. New Orleans is also engaged with global partners in the fight against climate change as a member of C40 Cities, Urban Sustainability Directors Network and the Climate Mayors.  

The full 2022 Climate Action Plan can be accessed by visiting

# # #