Osceola County is contemplating a comprehensive plan to address greenhouse gas emissions through development patterns, resource conservation and other initiatives to reduce the county’s environmental footprint through the year 2060.
The “Greenhouse Gas Initiative” plan was presented to the Osceola County Commission Monday with the intention that its goals, policies and actions recommendations could be worked into the county’s strategic planning sessions expected to begin early next year. There were no actions taken Monday, but several — if not all — commissioners appear to support it.
“The purpose is to guide the development, the enhancement, and ultimately the implementation of actions that cut the county’s greenhouse gas emissions,” the plan begins.
The plan is an outgrowth of the county’s 2017 award-winning “Strategies for a Sustainable Future” plan, which laid a broader outline for planning future growth in a county that currently leads the state in percentage population growth and is expected to nearly double, to nearly 600,000 residents, by 2040.
Getting there while reducing greenhouse gases is the trick proposed in the new plan, which addresses transportation, industrial fuel, and methane gases produced by the disposal of solid waste into the landfill.
Among the proposals to be achieved by 2060:
– Policies for development and land use to create “live, work and play neighborhoods” that would contain most daily routines and reduce vehicle miles and emissions.
– Policies to lead to energy-efficient buildings with enough renewable energy to meet their annual consumption requirements, including investments in solar power and green roofs.
– Reduction of per-capita potable water consumption by 30 percent, by encouraging water conservation, including use of Florida-friendly landscaping and best-practice fertilizer ordinances, as well as acquisition of sensitive lands in coordination with Water Management Districts.
– Stop sending solid waste to the landfill, through strategies of reducing, reusing and recycling, and support for composting programs, among other ideas.
– Minimizing vulnerability to changes in the environment, by increasing urban tree cover and other initiatives.