At a Glance
Climate Justice/Energy Equity, Data Analysis, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Jolie Villegas developed a GHG inventory and analyzed best practices in the creation of Harris County’s Climate Justice Action Plan.
Harris County is the third most populous county in the USA. Home to Houston, the “energy capital of the world,” Harris County recently created an Office of Sustainability to develop equitable resilience and sustainability policies to protect the County’s residents, especially communities who have been historically and disproportionately harmed by environmental and climate injustices. Harris County enlisted Jolie Villegas to help develop their inaugural Climate Justice Action Plan that centers equitable mitigation and adaptation strategies.
To help create Harris County’s Climate Justice Action Plan, Villegas worked on projects spanning both phases of the planning process:
Climate Action Planning (Phase 1): Villegas analyzed best practices from existing county Climate Justice Action Plans. She also co-developed the County’s first GHG inventory of internal operations to establish a baseline for future GHG emissions reduction targets.
Climate Justice Planning (Phase 2): To lay the groundwork for future projects in this second phase, Villegas wrote grants applying for various funding sources that would prioritize climate justice and facilitate community engagement throughout the Plan’s development.
Additionally, Villegas assisted with other projects ad hoc, including EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant research and the proposal of an Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund.
Once implemented, the Climate Justice Action Plan will serve as a comprehensive roadmap for Harris County to reduce its GHG emissions while centering community equity. The development of a GHG inventory and analysis of best practices from existing plans will facilitate the County’s process of actually writing the plan, saving both time and resources. Additionally, Villegas applied for approximately $200,000 in funding that will be used to compensate community partners and hire specialized consultants who can help encourage participatory action.