On January 28, 2013 Missoula City Council unanimously adopted the Missoula Conservation & Climate Action Plan. The plan, which focuses wholly on municipal operations, sets a goal for the City to be carbon neutral by 2025 by reducing operating costs, energy use, and cutting carbon emissions. Using a series of conservation and carbon reduction measures along with the development of and investment in carbon offset projects, Missoula’s plan aims to make their government operations carbon neutral, lowering their net greenhouse gas emission to zero.

The City of Missoula reached out to the community through an extensive public engagement effort to develop the plan. Missoula’s Mayor, John Engen, created a citizen task force and appointed individuals with different backgrounds and varying points of view.

The Citizen Task Force included representatives from non-profit organizations, private businesses and industry, the local hospital, the University of Montana, and city staff. The City Council’s Energy and Climate Team was also involved. Together these entities developed a plan that demonstrates how climate action makes fiscal, environmental and social sense for the City of Missoula.

The Conservation and Climate Action Plan specific objectives include:

  • Document current activities that the City is already doing to reduce energy use and carbon emissions;
  • Identify potential actions that the City can do to conserve energy and cut emissions;
  • Evaluate the feasibility of potential actions based upon cost, time, and resources;
  • Suggest a timeline for reduction activity implementation with the flexibility to be opportunistic;
  • Set carbon emission reduction targets;
  • Research and consider monitoring, reporting, and tracking system for energy use and carbon emissions; and,
  • Lead by example for the community.
Emissions Reduction Targets and Goals set by the City of Missoula

Implementation of the Plan begins with the formation of a technical and advisory body consisting of four members appointed by the Mayor and four members from the City Council Energy and Climate subcommittee. Immediately after the adoption of the plan, an Energy Conservation Coordinator was hired to act as a liaison between the implementation group and the City of Missoula staff and public. The advisory body assists the Energy Conservation Coordinator in plan implementation and with ongoing progress monitoring and reporting.


Case Study Resources

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  • Challenges:
  • energy
  • publichealth
  • fiscalhealth
  • watersupply
  • State:
  • montana
  • Scale:
  • community
  • Type:
  • urban, amenity, suburban