What Is Net Zero Emissions?
Net-zero emissions is an aspirational phrase developed by the United Nations Climate Change Conference to promote and encourage cities, townships, villages, states, regions, nations and countries to find ways to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and neutralize the negative effects of GHG.
Net-zero happens when greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere (carbon source) equal greenhouse gases being removed from the atmosphere (carbon sink). As part of this effort, the Florida League of Cities awarded scholarships to 22 municipalities to join Florida Race to Zero, a campaign to encourage and support efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by:
- Incorporating methods to remove greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere from their regions;
- Finding methods to avoid emissions and be carbon-neutral;
- Supporting activities such as reforestation, renewable energy and supplying reclaimed water.
The city of Miramar is one of the 22 Florida cities to be awarded the Race to Zero scholarship.
City of Miramar Wins Scholarship to Join The Race to Zero Campaign
The Race to Zero is a United Nations-led campaign that was launched in June 2020 to slow the climate crisis and mitigate greenhouse gas impacts by working with businesses, cities, regions, investors, and financial and educational institutions to drive their commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.
Who participates in Race to Zero?
The simple answer is: Everyone! That includes local municipalities (including city of Miramar), regional organizations (Broward County, for example), businesses (small, medium, large and enterprise), higher education (such as the University of Florida), and financial institutions (banks, investment funds, etc.).
How does participation Race to Zero work?
The head of an organization makes a pledge for their organization to reach net-zero GHG by the middle of the 21st century at the latest, which scientists have determined will limit warming to 1.5C. Within a year of joining Race to Zero, the organization is asked to submit a plan explaining short-term and long-term efforts. Participants will be asked to publish their progress annually.
Miramar's Current Net Zero Initiatives
The city of Miramar in the summer of 2022, presented its Miramar Sustainable Living plan, which is the city's response to support the Race to Zero. It includes the following initiatives:
- Adopt-a-Street Campaign: Communities are invited to participate in keeping the city beautiful and more environmentally friendly by beautifying city streets and neighborhoods, decreasing litter and removing pollutants to protect the quality of our water.
- Anti Litter Campaign: Miramar will install anti-litter and trash receptacles throughout the City.
- ReCollect App: The city implemented the ReCollect App, so residents may verify their trash collection days, get reminders, and print calendars.
- Waste to Energy Program: Some of Miramar's waste is converted to energy at the Wheelabrator (WIN Waste Innovations) waste-to-energy plant in Fort Lauderdale. Waste incineration reduces the total volume of waste up to 90% and produces electricity through the incineration process.
- Recycling Program: The Public Works Department has implemented several recycling collections and educational efforts: Recycle Right Miramar water-bill inserts, as well as an educational cartoon series, "Recycle Rosie and Ron," on the dos and don'ts of recycling.
Energy & Sustainability
- Citywide Performance Contract Project: Reduce Miramar's annual electrical consumption by 20% and reduce water consumption by 1 million gallons annually.
- EV Fleet: Miramar is adding electric vehicles to the city's fleet of service vehicles, with plans and budget in place to accelerate this process as more EVs become available, particularly EV pick-up trucks.
- Building and Land Development Codes: Miramar has fast-tracked the permitting process for all sustainability-related projects.
- EV Infrastructure: The city of Miramar has developed a preliminary master EV infrastructure plan, which includes building code requirements to include EV charging on new builds that meet minimum square footage requirements.
- EV Outreach: Miramar is partnering with land developers and FPL to secure EV chargers at public locations, including shopping malls, supermarkets, and hospitals.
- Energy Saving Tips: Energy-saving tips have been created and distributed regularly to the public on social media and Miramar’s website.
- Renewable Energy: Miramar added budget through FY2023 to expand the city's use of solar energy. Utilities and Public Works departments formed a team to review logistics for installing a large solar system at the Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
- Water: Miramar offers rebates for homes and businesses that install efficient water fixtures and toilets. Miramar's public outreach programs encourage water conservation, as well as its annual “Mayors Challenge for Water Conservation.”
- NPDES Program: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program monitors, regulates and removes pollutants into the city’s drainage systems before it reaches the wastewater plant. This program eases the load on the wastewater plant, resulting in savings on chemicals and energy.
- Wastewater: Miramar's wastewater reclamation facility treats and reuses wastewater throughout the city for irrigation, which reduces the demand for potable water.
Tree Planting & Reforestation
Miramar’s grant from Tree City USA helped to form Miramar’s tree inventory, which assessed and now monitors 8,000 trees. Trees are natural carbon sinks, so this type of program is critical to identifying our tree maintenance requirements, species breakdown, size and condition of existing trees. Miramar’s 7,400 square foot Community Garden is an award-winning “micro urban farm” offering a social network where members learn about growing fresh organic produce and healthy living.
Miramar's Race to Zero depends on partnerships with businesses, neighboring municipalities, colleges and universities, and, of course, the residents who call Miramar, Florida, home. Learn more about the Florida Race to Zero program. Here's how to join RTZ (Race to Zero) as a region, city, business or investor.