Fairfax to Zero is an ambitious effort to promote local policies that will reduce greenhouse gases emitted in the county, reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, if not sooner.  

Fairfax County will take bold, urgent and sustained actions to become a leader in local solutions to climate change. Specifically, Fairfax to Zero advocates to:

  • Hold Fairfax County supervisors accountable for their repeated commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions countywide by at least 2% per year until we reach net zero by 2050, if not sooner.

  • Ensure Fairfax County effectively carries out its climate initiatives with the urgency, transparency and adequate funding necessary to:

    • Establish a goal of net zero GHG emissions by 2050, targeting 2030 for net zero for Fairfax government and Fairfax County Public Schools

    • Prioritize and implement high-impact, equitable strategies for reducing GHGs county-wide through the County-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) which must provide a roadmap for achieving GHG targets through public reporting of GHG emissions

    • Implement the County Operations Energy Strategy that demonstrates county commitment and leadership on cutting GHG emissions

    • Aggressively bring solar to school and county buildings and property while advocating the Virginia legislature to reduce barriers to solar.

    • Actively promote C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) as an innovative financing solution for energy upgrades

  • Support an aggressive energy and climate action strategy for the Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) that:

    • Adopt an operations energy strategy parallel to the strategy adopted by Fairfax County (goal is net zero/energy efficiency)

    • Transition to electric buses

    • Expand Solar on our Schools

    • Improve recycling by requiring recycling coordinators to attend training and facilitate sharing of best practices in school-based recycling

    • Take advantage of Fairfax County’s urban forestry programs to increase tree canopy on school properties.

  • Reduce the waste stream in the county and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

    • Reduce intake of solid waste and increase its rate of recycling with new programs and fees;

    • Electrify the waste pickup fleet and other waste management machinery to reduce GHGs;

    • Reduce amount of county waste incinerated at Covanta to well below 650,000 tons annually;

    • Require Covanta to reduce GHG emissions from its total operations;

    • Reduce plastic bag consumption by charging a per bag fee and eventually banning sales;

    • Ban the sale and commercial use of plastic straws in the county; and

    • Reduce single use beverage containers by charging a fee.

  • Assure that all land use, planning and zoning decisions in the county are evaluated with energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and sustainability criteria. 

    • Ensure that all land use decisions (planning, zoning, stormwater management, development and redevelopment) are required to consider energy efficiencies including (but not limited to) reducing greenhouse gas emissions, climate change mitigations, waste minimization and sustainability in the strategic development of Board policy and its implementation at staff level; 

    • Ensure that all county redevelopment projects, such as Embark Richmond Highway, emphasize high density, mass transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly development and include a focus on tree canopy impact and heat island effects; and

    • Expand its tree canopy and vegetation cover in the entire county, not just county parks (with a focus on low income neighborhoods, high density areas, and large infill projects that are most prone to heat island effects) by increasing its budget for this effort;

    • Evaluate all options to significantly increase tree canopy in VDOT projects (including not only highway projects but also residential street rights of way)     

  • Ensure that all county energy and climate plans prioritize the health and well-being of all our residents, with particular attention to people of color, immigrants, lower-income families and other under-served populations most negatively impacted by extreme weather and climate change

    • Encourage the creation of an inclusive, just, and pollution-free energy economy with high-quality jobs.

    • Provide affordable energy access that ensures a healthy standard of living that provides for the basic needs of children and families.