City of Flagstaff, Arizona Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

The City of Flagstaff, Arizona’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) aims to guide the Flagstaff community toward strengthening climate resilience, reducing emissions, and addressing equity concerns throughout the plan’s implementation. The CAAP presents goals, strategies, and specific actions for Flagstaff to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and prioritizes climate action at the City level.

The CAAP aims to achieve 80% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2050; build climate resilience in the City’s social, economic, and natural systems; and prioritize the most impacted populations while equitably distributing the costs and benefits of climate action. The actions identified are prioritized to maximize emission reductions or community preparedness in the most cost-effective and equitable manner.

The plan is organized into seven focus areas: Natural Environment; Water Resources; Energy; Transportation and Land Use; Waste and Consumption; Public Health, Services, Facilities, and Safety; and Economic Prosperity and Recreation. Each focus area presents goals, timeline targets, indicator metrics, strategies, priority actions, and other actions not considered high-priority.

Flagstaff recognizes that climate change disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations. Social equity will be considered throughout the planning process by designing policies and programs that serve disadvantaged communities first, engaging with the community, and using the “Operationalizing Equity Checklist” when implementing actions. 

In order to integrate socially equitable climate resilience, the plan identifies the following Priority Actions for Plan Implementation: 

  • Establish a climate and equity working group to build partnerships in the community, identify community needs, determine barriers to participation, recommend ways to make climate action events more accessible to residents, and ensure that Plan implementation follows the nine key equity considerations in the operationalizing equity checklist.
  • Conduct a community-wide needs assessment to understand how needs are being met and how climate change affects neighborhoods differently. 
  • Incorporate equity indicators into monitoring and evaluation processes. 
  • Create opportunities for youth to be actively involved in decision-making and climate action. 
  • Engage community members from all income levels, races and ethnicities, political persuasions, and neighborhoods in Plan outreach efforts.


The Implementation Summary and Schedule presents the costs, timeframe, and responsible parties for each Priority Action identified. In total, the CAAP presents 164 specific actions including, for example, to:

  • Develop a climate mitigation and adaptation decision matrix to be integrated into City plan creation and updates, including the regional plan, zoning code, and engineering standards.
  • Establish financing systems that facilitate investments, emergency funds, and cash-flow availability to develop climate adaptation initiatives.
  • Identify permanent funding from the City of Flagstaff to support forest health improvements to reduce wildfire risk and provide ecosystem service protection.
  • Strengthen current zoning code requirements for native landscaping to include the use of climate-adapted varieties of native species that can survive in changing conditions.
  • Maximize groundwater recharge, such as by prioritizing the use of reclaimed water to recharge aquifers and protecting recharge zones in perpetuity.
  • Evaluate landscape and stormwater codes for suitability with projected changes in temperature and precipitation, and how effectively the codes support the development of green infrastructure.
  • Adequately fund health and emergency services reaching populations vulnerable to climate change impacts.
  • Support the development of neighborhood resiliency groups.
  • Continue collaborations to study and prepare for increased risk of illness and disease due to…climate change.
  • Utilize existing community resources to support community members whose jobs may be at risk from climate change impacts through retraining programs and business support.

The CAAP includes an Operationalizing Equity Checklist that consists of nine key equity considerations and questions implementing the outlined actions, including Disproportionate impacts, Shared benefits, Accessibility, Engagement, Capacity, Alignment and partnership, Relationship building, Economic opportunity and staff diversity, and Accountability.  The plan also openly discusses, through seven case studies, some of the various areas of tension that may arise between climate action goals and other community priorities.

The Community Climate Action Guide presents checklists of actions that individuals, households, and businesses could take to reduce emissions and build resilience. The guide also offers a list of federal and state funding and financing opportunities available to help offset the costs of some energy efficiency and adaptation actions. 


Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Related Organizations:

  • City of Flagstaff, Arizona


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Adaptation plan

States Affected:


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