Before you do anything else, do take a look at this video by Trevor Noah…



As the sixth largest state, Arizona has a lot of land, and a lot of desert. Situated at the heart of the scorching American Southwest, Arizona regularly clocks in as one of the hottest states in the country and is home to the two hottest cities in the United States. As the Earth warms, Arizona’s 7.3 million residents face life-threatening rising temperatures and ever-dwindling water supplies. In 2021, 113 confirmed heat-related deaths in Maricopa County (which includes Phoenix) was double 2020’s number. Arizona’s homeless population will be particularly vulnerable to this health hazard. The dry, hot terrain also contributes to the state’s ongoing megadrought, which adds to a whole host of issues including the diminishment of the Colorado River, which supplies water to over a third of Arizona’s population. As temperatures have risen and drought intensified, wildfires have grown larger and burn more severely.

Arizona’s energy trends lend some hope, however. Per capita energy consumption in Arizona is already among the lowest in the nation, and the state is uniquely poised for a switch to renewable and clean energy. It has some of the best solar resources in the country and produces the nation’s highest-grade uranium — crucial for nuclear energy generation. Arizona has put this resource to work in the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the nation’s largest nuclear power plant. Palo Verde generates more electricity annually than any other U.S. plantsecond only to the Grand Coulee Dam in total electricity generating capacity. Fossil fuels, unfortunately, continue to play a significant role. Since 2018, Arizona has reduced its dependency on coal but shifted to natural gas, which has become the state’s largest single energy source — generating one third of it’s power. The rest of the state’s energy comes from renewable sources, with a special emphasis on solar. Arizona ranks 5th in the nation for total solar installations.

In 2006, Arizona’s Climate Change Advisory Group was charged with preparing an inventory and forecast of Arizona’s greenhouse gas emissions and developing a Climate Change Action Plan with recommendations on how to reduce the state’s emissions. The report included a comprehensive set of 49 policy options.

By September of 2021, Arizona does not yet have a statewide adaptation plan despite the fact that they are the fourth-fastest warming state in the country. Local communities have taken up the battle as best they can. In 2009, Phoenix, the 2nd fastest warming city in the U.S., completed its  Climate Action Plan, which it plans to update by the end of 2021. Its goals: to become a carbon-neutral city by 2060 operating on 100% clean energy, with new buildings being net positive by 2050, and significant greenhouse gas reduction targets between 2025 and 2050. In July, 2020, Flagstaff declared a climate emergency. In September 2020, Tucson, the third fastest warming city in the nation, also  declared a climate emergency and will implement a decade long plan,  “Framework for Advancing Sustainability,”   to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Arizona lawmakers don’t make change easy. For example, in January of 2020, The Arizona Committee on Natural Resources and Energy voted to stop cities from prohibiting construction of natural gas-powered buildings.

In August, 2020, a highly anticipated meeting of the Arizona Corporation Commission ended abruptly, amid disputes over a roadmap to clean energy. In May, 2021  Arizona’s utility regulators rejected new rules that would have required most of the state’s electricity providers to get 100% of their power from clean energy sources by 2050 to limit carbon emissions and address climate change. Later that month the ACC, voted 3-2 to restart a rule-making process to establish a 100% clean energy standard for the state.  The commissioners are expected to vote on a final rule in the fall of 2021. Don’t hold your breath.

Or read the Sierra Club’s 2021 Environmental Report Card for the Arizona Legislature and Governor.

United Swing States of America - Arizona in the Grip of Climate Change | The Daily Show



Flagstaff’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

The Flagstaff Climate Action and Adaptation Plan is a road map for how Flagstaff will prepare for and respond to climate change.

City of Phoenix Climate Action Plan for Government Operations

Phoenix has been recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability and has a long history of implementing pollution control and natural resource conservation programs.

Arizona Climate Change Action Plan

Arizona's Climate Change Advisory Group, formed by executive order, was charged with (1) preparing an inventory and forecast of Arizona's greenhouse gas emissions, and (2) developing this Climate Change Action Plan with recommendations for reducing…


Images of change

Disappearing Lake Mead, Nevada-Arizona Border

Arizona State Profile and Energy Estimates

Arizona is known for its stunning landscapes and natural wonders from the Grand Canyon in the north to the Saguaro deserts in the south. The state has few fossil fuel reserves, but it does have…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

Sustainable Cities Network

Connecting communities, advancing sustainability, and cultivating solutions.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Arizona

Between 2017 and 2019, Arizona experienced one drought and one wildfire. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Arizona

Arizona is vulnerable to increasing heat, melting snowpack, droughts, and wildfires

Preparing for Climate Change in Arizona

Arizona has not developed a statewide adaptation plan. Other resources from the Adaptation Clearinghouse, which have been developed by the state and localities to help communities prepare for climate change, are highlighted below.

Arizona state at risk

States at Risk is a project aimed at showing how Americans in all 50 states are experiencing the impacts of climate change. Our work focuses on five threats — extreme heat, drought, wildfires, coastal flooding…

Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff

In 2006, the Commission approved the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST). These rules require that regulated electric utilities must generate 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2025. Each year, Arizona's utility…


A Day Without Rain Is Like 22 Years In America’s Southwest

By Arthur Keith  Photo: Raychel Sanner   06/04/22  
The Southwest is melting down. Between the heat and lack of moisture, it’s become an inferno. This year is already worse than last year, which was a catastrophe. So should we call this catastrophe-plus?

The Vanishing Rio Grande: Warming Takes a Toll on a Legendary River

By Jim Robbins  Photo: Ted Woods   06/02/22  
Hiking through the emerald green canopy of the bosque, or riverside cottonwood forest, near downtown Albuquerque, Tricia Snyder, an advocate for WildEarth Guardians, believes zero hour has arrived for the Rio Grande. Though the river…

Lake Mead could still tank in 2023, despite all we’ve done to save it

By Joanna Allhands   05/20/22  
Whatever buffer we may have had (or thought we had) at Lake Mead, it is quickly disappearing. The May 24-month study makes that plain. The monthly, two-year forecast from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has…

The Colorado River is in crisis, and it’s getting worse every day

By Erin Patrick O'Connor  Photo: Matt McClain   05/14/22  
It is a powerhouse: a 1,450-mile waterway that stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Sea of Cortez, serving 40 million people in seven U.S. states, 30 federally recognized tribes and Mexico. It hydrates 5…

Colorado River drought may be the ‘new normal’ and living with it will be costly, leaders say

By Brandon Loomis  Photo: Mark Henle   05/07/22  
Arizona needs to rapidly invest in both water conservation and new supplies to offset losses from a shrinking Colorado River, the state’s top water officials warned Friday.

As drought crisis deepens, government will release less water from Colorado River reservoir

By Ian James  Photo : Luis Sinco , Los Angeles Times   05/03/22  
After years of severe drought compounded by climate change, the water level in Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir on the Colorado River, has dropped to just 24% of full capacity and is continuing to decline…

‘We are human beings’: Randolph residents bus in to Phoenix to protest SRP expansion plans

By Joshua Bowling  Photo: Monica D. Spencer , The Republic   04/12/22  
A group of residents from a small, historically Black community some 60 miles southeast of Phoenix traveled by bus Tuesday morning to protest a major gas plant expansion. As state regulators prepared to vote on…

As Lake Powell Hits Landmark Low, Arizona Looks to a $1 Billion Investment and Mexican Seawater to Slake its Thirst

By Aydali Campa  Photo: David McNew/Getty Images   03/23/22  
During his last year in office, Gov. Doug Ducey is trying to create a legacy of water security in drought-stricken Arizona. But his most ambitious effort in that quest could end up being in Mexico.

Tree rings from centuries past may help reveal a warming planet’s future

By Karen Peterson  Photo: Cassidy Araiza for The Washington Post   03/23/22  
Each specimen in a strangely beautiful “treehouse” laboratory here tells a story of resilience — from droughts and floods to catastrophic wildfires and bitter winters, some occurring thousands of years ago.

Lake Powell Is in Big Trouble

By Molly Taft   03/09/22  
Lake Powell, on the border of Utah and Arizona, is a crucial reservoir along the Colorado River, part of a system that supplies water for 40 million people in multiple states across the West. As…

In major reversal, Arizona utility regulators kill 100% clean-energy rules in the state

By Ryan Randazzo  Photo: Brian Snyder   01/26/22  
The rules appeared on the verge of passage last year when Jim O'Connor, a Republican member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, and Anna Tovar, a Democratic member, reached a compromise.

New electric-car chargers in downtown Tucson meet growing need

By David Wichner  Photo: Ana Beltran , Arizona Daily Star   01/14/22  
Electric vehicle drivers will have more options to recharge while in downtown Tucson, thanks to a new bank of chargers installed by Hotel Congress that is seen as a model for other businesses.

Arizona needs a truly regional power market to keep the lights on (and affordable)

By Nate Blouin   01/12/22  
Arizona’s electric grid faces unprecedented challenges in the form of heat waves, wildfires, drought and other impacts of changing climate. These threats test the limits of our infrastructure, meaning we must adapt and innovate the…

Dam providing power to millions nears critically low water level

By Benjamin J. Hulac  Photo: Bill Clark , CQ Roll Call   01/12/22  
A federal dam in Arizona that provides electricity to millions of Americans is at risk this year of running out of the minimum level of water required to generate that power.

As the Colorado River shrinks, can new technology save water on farms? The answer is complicated

By Alex Hager  Photo: Alex Hager   01/11/22  
On a warm November day in Yuma, Arizona, the desert sun is beating down on a sea of low, green fields. Here, near the banks of the Colorado River, Matt McGuire is surveying an expanse…

Absorbing Water from the Air with Hydropanels: The Next Step in Tackling Water Scarcity?

By Clarissa Wright  Photo: Riccardo Mayer   01/11/22  
The water available for each living person on the Earth is dropping every day. Yet, a huge portion of the planet’s water is in the air. To tap into this easily overlooked resource, companies have…

Ducey announces historic investment in Arizona’s water future

By Shelle Jackson  Photo: Meleny Gradillas   01/11/22  
The plan would invest $1-billion to secure Arizona's water supply over the next century. Details will be included in Governor Ducey's budget proposal, to be released Friday.

As the Colorado River shrinks, can new technology save water on farms?

By Alex Hager  Photo: Alex Hager , KUNC   01/11/22  
On a warm November day in Yuma, Arizona, the desert sun is beating down on a sea of low, green fields. Here, near the banks of the Colorado River, Matt McGuire is surveying an expanse…

Here’s what you need to know about the Phoenix Climate Action Plan

By Olivia Dow   01/10/22  
Locals are familiar with extended days of extreme heat in the summer – but they might not realize the average temperature in Phoenix has increased 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1970s, according to Climate Central.

Investing in Arizona’s Water will Improve Outlook for People and Birds

By Haley Paul  Photo: Jerry amEnde/Audubon   01/07/22  
In Arizona, as throughout much of the West, the situation is serious. And while recent storms bring welcome moisture for thirsty western landscapes, one wet winter will not reverse 20 years of drought. We hope…

Colorado River forecast improves with early snow, but the outlook could still change

By Brandon Loomis  Photo: Nick Oza , The Republic   01/07/22  
Early winter rain and snow across the interior West have improved the outlook for springtime flows on the Colorado and other rivers that supply the Southwest.

Groups gather at Arizona Capitol to call for environmental action, representation

By Nicholas Gerbis   01/06/22  
Representatives from environmental groups, faith-based organizations, science and government on Wednesday gathered at the Arizona state Capitol Rose Garden to present their priorities for the governor and Legislature.

With less water on the surface, how long can Arizona rely on what’s underground?

By Alex Hager  Photo: Ryan Harvey   01/04/22  
In Arizona, verdant fields of crops and a growing sprawl of suburban homes mean a sharp demand for water in the middle of the desert. Meeting that demand includes drawing from massive stores of water…

Legislature proper place for energy policy

A fundamental disagreement exists with the premise of Sen. Paul Boyer’s opinion article entitled Arizona’s energy mix is best set by the experts. That’s not the Legislature published in The Arizona Republic on November 17,…

Arizona utility selects Landis+Gyr to expand smart metering with new prepayment system

By Nicholas Nhede  Photo:   12/15/21  
Salt River Project, a community utility based in the US state of Arizona, will be modernising its grid and billing system with a new prepayment system. Landis+Gyr and PayGo have partnered to deliver and manage…

New study outlines high costs of extreme heat in Phoenix, Arizona

By Anita Snow   12/06/21  
Extreme heat is expensive. That’s the conclusion of a study presented Monday by The Nature Conservancy, which commissioned a look at the costs of rising temperatures in Phoenix.

Taking Charge: Kore Power CEO Lindsay Gorrill on building a battery manufacturing ecosystem in Arizona

By Jason Plautz  Photo: Yujin Kim/Utility Dive/Utility Dive   11/24/21  
As the Biden administration pushes massive investments in clean energy as part of a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the White House wants the technology behind that energy to be homegrown.

The climate crisis has huge costs for Arizona, but state leaders can’t fight it alone

By Sen. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson   11/04/21  
This week, countries across the world are coming together in Glasgow for COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, to discuss how the world will address our climate crisis. I have joined with more…

Climate change in Tucson: What you need to know

By Greg Bradbury   11/04/21  
From record-breaking heat to widespread fires, Tucson is no stranger to extreme weather. Gregg Garfin, a climatologist at the University of Arizona, said that this weather can be linked to climate change. "What climate change…

Kyrsten Sinema Wants to Cut $100 Billion in Proposed Climate Funds, Sources Say

By Coral Davenport  Photo: Stefani Reynolds   10/27/21  
Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who began her political career with the Green Party and who has voiced alarm over the warming planet, wants to cut at least $100 billion from climate programs in major…

New EPA report confirms what south Phoenix’s residents of color know: Climate change discriminates

By Zayna Syed   10/14/21  
Rashaad Thomas and his family moved out of Scottsdale about seven years ago. Thomas, a well-known local writer and poet, had covered police brutality for years. When his wife, Nancy, became pregnant for the first…

In Arizona, Drought Ignites Tensions and Threatens Traditions Among the Hopi

By Simon Romero  Photo: Tomás Karmelo Amaya   10/02/21  
On the bone-dry plateau where the Hopi people have lived for well over a thousand years, Robinson Honani pulled his truck to the side of a dirt road and pointed to a carcass. “This is…

SRP installs largest stand-alone battery in Arizona so far

By Isabella Martillaro   09/17/21  
Salt River Project announced Thursday that the largest stand-alone battery system in Arizona is now operating in Peoria.

Arizona regulators to get earful on clean-energy report at town halls

By David Wichner  Photo: David Sanders , Tucson Electeric Power   09/17/21  
The public can weigh in on a recent state-commissioned report on the cost of moving Arizona to 100% carbon-free energy at a series of virtual town halls hosted next week by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

A Hopi farmer works to sustain corn-growing traditions in the face of a changing climate

By Ian James  Photo: David Wallace , The Republic   09/16/21  
He waited for a morning when the winds had died down, then returned to his family’s field carrying a pail filled with white corn kernels and a metal rod for planting.

Could Climate Change Put an End to Arizona’s Alfalfa Heyday?

By Greta Moran   09/15/21  
It’s always alfalfa season in Arizona. In most other parts of the country, the perennial crop grows tall enough to harvest just a few times a year. But in the sun-drenched Southwest, the irrigated fields…

University of Arizona partners with Native American nations to address climate change issues

By Jasmine Ramirez   09/14/21  
 The University of Arizona is partnering with Native American tribes to address the environmental challenges faced on the reservations.

Heat Expert to Lead City’s New Heat Response & Mitigation Office

Phoenix has announced an ASU Environmental Sciences Professor will lead a first of its kind Office of Heat Response and Mitigation. ASU Associate Professor David Hondula will lead the office approved by the Phoenix City…

Biden Clean-Energy Plan Could be Hard Sell in AZ, Western States

By Mark Richardson  Photo: Soonthorne , Adobe Stock   09/13/21  
President Joe Biden's $150 billion clean-energy plan aims to rid almost half of the power grid of carbon-based fuels by 2035, but conservationists say his proposal will likely see resistance from Western states with energy-production…

USDA Invests in Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Help Arizona Rural Communities, Businesses, and Ag Producers Build Back Better

By Staff   09/13/21  
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $464 million to build or improve renewable energy infrastructure and to help rural communities, agricultural producers and businesses lower energy costs…

Arizona Climate Activists Urge Congress To Pass Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan

By Tom Maxedon   09/10/21  
Environmentalists gathered at the state Capitol on Friday morning, urging Congress to pass President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan as part of his budget proposal. It would allocate $3.5 trillion in spending for climate change initiatives,…

Babbitt Ranch wind farm breezes through county planning and zoning

By Adrian Skabelund  Photo: Morgan Louvier   09/05/21  
Aproposed renewable energy project about 30 miles northwest of Flagstaff is one step closer to becoming reality after it was unanimously approved by the Coconino County Planning and Zoning Commission last month.

‘Good fires’ gave forest managers a useful tool. Climate change may take it away

By Anton L. Delgado  Photo: Anton L. Delgado , The Republic   09/03/21  
Plumes of smoke drifted across the sky, wispy columns that traced a path to a smattering of downed trees still smoldering in the wake of yet another wildfire.

Federal judge throws out Trump administration rule allowing the draining and filling of streams, marshes and wetlands

By Dino Grandoni and Brady Dennise  Photo: Salwan Georges , The Washington Post   08/31/21  
A federal judge Monday threw out a major Trump administration rule that scaled back federal protections for streams, marshes and wetlands across the United States, reversing one of the previous administration’s most significant environmental rollbacks.

Valley climate leaders urge officials to help combat climate change

By Jorge Torres   08/27/21  
On Thursday, local climate leaders were at the Justa Center in Downtown Phoenix, calling on Arizona's elected officials to pass legislation that would help combat climate change.

Arizona approves energy storage incentives for Tucson Electric customers

By David Wagman  Photo: Kieran MacAuliffe , Pixabay   08/24/21  
Arizona regulators approved a pair of incentive programs aimed at expanding residential energy storage use and community solar participation.

Report: Arizona faces climate change disaster

By Peter Aleshire   08/24/21  
You can draw all of those conclusions from the latest United Nations Climate Assessment, a massive, 4,000-page study involving 200 scientists from 195 countries — in preparation for November’s world-wide climate summit.

In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts

By Henry Fountain  Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images   08/16/21  
With climate change and long-term drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government on Monday for the first time declared a water shortage at Lake Mead, one of the river’s…

Arizona 2050 clean energy mandate could increase utility bills nearly $60/month, study finds

Robert Walton   08/16/21  
An Arizona mandate to achieve 100% clean energy by 2050 could ultimately drive utility bills higher by about $60 a month, according to a new independent analysis from Ascend Analytics. However, the report and clean energy advocates warn…