FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County announced its goal to become carbon neutral by 2040 in its energy use for government operations, including buildings, facilities and transportation.

Even though the board made the pledge on Tuesday, Chairman Jeffrey McKay said the County is already well on its way to reaching the goal, especially with its existing solar power capacity.

“We had to go to the General Assembly and get a change in state law to allow us to use solar power to the extent that we wanted to in Fairfax County, literally had to change the state law. So, we did that, and we are in the midst of a very large installation of solar power on buildings, school buildings, county buildings,” explained McKay.

In addition to increasing solar power, the County pledges to transfer the Fairfax Connector diesel bus fleet to an electric bus fleet, reduce energy costs in all government buildings and more.  

“Our main concern is that we lead by example, we reduce carbon emissions, we look to renewable energy sources, follow the science, follow the technology, and at the end of the day, not only save our planet but also save our taxpayer resources,” said McKay.

McKay said it is an aggressive approach but will ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit taxpayers.

“We want to make sure that we are held accountable, our staff is held accountable, and that every year, when we make big financial decisions for the County, we’re making those decisions on the lens of being more environmentally sustainable long-term,” McKay said.

The County plans to remove as much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from its operations as possible. To learn more about it, click here.

Chairman Jeffrey McKay encourages residents to look online at Fairfax County’s entire environmental agenda to learn more about green initiatives countywide. You can learn more about the County’s green initiatives here.

The Fairfax County School Board is expected to consider the same goals during its meeting on Thursday.