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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequestly Asked Questions

To oversee implementation of the plan and track progress, the City’s Office of Sustainability will establish two committees: an internal Climate Action Plan implementation committee, comprising City staff who will ensure the plan’s goals are integrated into all departmental work; and an external Chattanooga Climate, Sustainability, and Resilience (CSR) committee, which will include representatives form across Chattanooga who will help promote, track, and implement the plan’s solutions city-wide.

The committees will develop and publish a full list of key performance indicators, and progress will be reported on a regular basis to City Council, published on the City website, and incorporated into regular Plan updates.The City will also pair these reporting efforts with a globally recognized sustainability and carbon-reporting platform such as the unified reporting platform of ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) on a rolling, annual basis.



The Climate Action Plan is a community-wide roadmap for the future success and sustainability of our city, so everyone will play a part in achieving its goals! In the short-term, the City’s Department of City Planning will oversee the organization of an internal and external committee, which will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the plan inside city government and in the community. The municipal operations-related strategies will be implemented by the relevant city departments, and the community-wide goals will be implemented by all Chattanoogans, led by relevant stakeholders and organizations

We’ll also be working with our state and federal partners to identify innovative ways to fund this work. Some of the strategies, like changes in policy or operational adjustments, will not require funding. Some of the energy savings actions will require some funding upfront to generate long-term cost savings in the years to come. We’ve already seen this in energy efficiency updates we’ve made to city government buildings, which are saving us $2.2 million in operating costs every year compared to a 2013 baseline.

The bottom line is, there are a host of funding opportunities out there to support cities that have strong plans for sustainability – from large federal grants to private philanthropic donations. We are confident that we can capitalize on those opportunities to drive this work forward without raising taxes.

Yes. To start, the Climate Action Plan was developed based on multiple reports and studies that were completed with extensive community engagement and participation. For example, the City of Chattanooga Regional Resilience Report gathered stakeholders, experts, and governments from around the region to identify vulnerabilities and plan for greater resiliency. Green|spaces’ Integrated Community Sustainability Plan was built from focused public input across the multiple plan areas. Both plans provided the basis for the Climate Action Plan.

Additionally, the City hosted a Climate Adaptation Workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation, in October of 2022 that included representation of more than 20 Chattanooga government, nonprofit, regulatory, philanthropy, utility, climate and other organizations. The outcomes of the workshop were translated into more than 20 of the strategies in the plan.

Finally, the City received and incorporated feedback on a close-to-final draft of the plan from a public listening session held in partnership with green|spaces and Climate Chattanooga in January 2023. Nearly 100 citizens attended and provided input during this session.

In the short-term, implementing the Climate Action Plan will mean fewer City diesel trucks traveling through neighborhoods; cleaner, more efficient city buildings that save taxpayer funds, and opportunities for homeowners and businesses to more easily transition to clean energy power sources. It will mean better parks and more parks, cleaner water, and more green job opportunities. And we’re committed to ensuring these benefits are experienced by all Chattanoogans, regardless of their zip code or background.

If the plan is approved, the City will immediately start assessing baseline measures on things like greenhouse gas emissions and solar feasibility, which will allow us to set more specific progress indicators related to each goal. For example, the Office of Sustainability will immediately begin a greenhouse gas inventory, conduct a building energy efficiency assessment, and create a plan for electrifying the rest of the City’s fleet of vehicles.

No aspect of the Climate Action Plan calls for mandates on an individual, family, business, church or other entity. All community-based work will be strictly voluntary. If there are specific items that any resident has a real or perceived threat to their privacy or personal freedoms, the City welcomes those comments so that they can be adequately addressed.


If the plan is approved, we’ll be calling on the community to help us achieve its goals. Sign up to stay tuned for updates!






Regional Planning Agency
1250 Market St
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-5900

Office of Sustainability
Erik Schmidt, Director of Sustainability
1250 Market St
Chattanooga, TN 37402
(423) 643-7822