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Knowing Arlington’s climate and energy performance

Arlington’s Community Energy Plan Roadmap Progress

It can be a challenge to know and understand a community’s far-ranging, multi-disciplinary and cross-sector progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and changing a climate future for the better.

Arlington’s Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE) team produces and updates several public-reference tools to demystify the process and provide residents, businesses, organizations and stakeholders with the resources to easily track and learn about the County’s all-of-government approach and action.

One of these resources tracks progress on actions, policies, programs and projects developed to advance the County’s climate and energy goals under the Community Energy Plan (CEP) and, more specifically, the CEP’s “engine” — the CEP Roadmap.

To propel CEP goals, the CEP Roadmap is structured along the following timeframes: Years 1-2, Years 3-5, Years 5-10 and 10 Years+, with tracking and status matrices covering each cycle. The CEP Roadmap Matrix (Years 1-2 (2022-2023)) is now available. This compilation of 85+ strategic actions and milestones crosses all major sectors and identifies measures instituted by AIRE, directly, and in partnerships across the government enterprise to achieve the County’s climate and energy objectives. The CEP Roadmap Matrix is a part of AIRE’s communications platform to inform the public on investments and outcomes and to support AIRE’s program for behavioral change and market transformation. From increasing energy efficiency to reducing carbon emissions, these efforts resulted in notable achievements that drove Arlington’s national and international recognitions, including achieving LEED Platinum status for Cities and ranking in the top 13% of Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) graded jurisdictions worldwide. View the report on our website.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Dashboards — Discover our GHG Sources in Detail!

Arlington County’s greenhouse gas (GHG) Dashboards were recently launched in a new format that allows for both sector and deep sub-sector breakdowns through an interactive platform. For the first time, the County has not simply quantified our community-wide and government emissions, but opened to the public a set of interactive GHG Dashboards that allow users to trace emissions by sub-sector sources through visualizations and data (e.g., identifying building sub-inventories and the full spectrum of transportation modes.) These user-friendly platforms will serve as key public awareness resources and tools for matching actions with GHG production and encouraging behavioral change among residents and businesses.

The GHG Dashboards present the Community-wide and Government GHG emissions, broken out by sector, which then cascade down into sub-sector detail, from: 1) all community-based, private-sector activities that produce GHG emissions as well as 2) government buildings, fleet and operations. This includes emissions from core and supplemental actions by residents, businesses and County operations. The reports provide additional details about the data sources and the methodology used to develop the GHG inventory estimates.

A GHG emissions inventory provides an estimate of GHG emissions for a given year and is used to identify, plan and implement reduction opportunities and to track progress toward climate goals. Typically, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) updates the GHG inventories of its regional member jurisdiction cyclically, with the most recent Inventories produced for the calendar year 2020. That year, however, was subject to profound distortions and misleading data as well as other source disruptions due to the global COVID pandemic. COVID close-downs dramatically skewed building and transportation data, which represents roughly 75%-80% of Arlington’s total GHG inventory.

As a result, the current Dashboards are based on the MWCOG’s last-normalized GHG Inventory data from 2016 and will be updated to reflect a 2023 GHG Inventory to be delivered by the MWCOG to each of its member jurisdictions in early 2025.


AIRE is excited to announce that the 2nd annual ACCELERATE Report (covering the calendar year 2023) will be released by the end of March 2024. This report features Arlington’s core work pertaining to energy, climate and the environment, and reflects a multi-sector, cross-disciplinary approach that generates an all-of-government commitment to a sustainable, dynamic future.

Due to the variety of on-going and completed projects, programs and policies, each report contains fresh new stories to maintain transparency, highlight Arlington’s key successes, and provide education on climate and energy related activities. The 2022 issue (for calendar year 2022) of ACCELERATE is available on AIRE’s website.

Additionally, to further support the improvement of the County’s operations on a variety of energy and sustainability performance metrics and to serve as a public information resource, a Comparative Performance Dashboard will be soon launched that compares Arlington’s performance to other local jurisdictions. This reference tool illustrates comparative metrics through graphs and descriptions on buildings, renewables, county government operations, transportation, and behavioral change and market transformation.

Contact us with any comments, recommendations or subjects you would like to see addressed in communications and outreach: [email protected].

Subscribe to the AIRE Newsletter for more energy tips and informational events aimed at making Arlington a more sustainable community.

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The applicant must be an Arlington resident pursuing a career or technical education accredited program, within a high-growth career, that will be completed within two years.

The careers and programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Audio, Video, and Sound Engineering Technicians

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  • Healthcare

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  • Manufacturing and Skilled Trades (including welding, auto and aviation mechanics and technicians)

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