Two nights ago the hard work over many months of 60 or so Albuquerqueans (in the form of the Climate Action Task Force) finally paid off, as the Albuquerque City Council voted unanimously to pass their City Climate Action Plan.
As I’ve written about before the purpose of the Climate Action Task Force was to “design strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.” The task force was made up of volunteers from all walks of life. After they formulated the plan, they had it reviewed by peer groups and also conducted ten town hall meetings throughout the city to get feedback on the plan from city residents.
A PDF file of the entire Climate Action Plan can found at this link.
I attended one of the town hall meetings a couple months ago and posted a video from it on Clearly. You can see it here.
In the video from the town hall post you’ll see Carrie McChesney of Concept Green, LLC and Consolidated Solar Technologies giving an overview of the Business, Industry, and Carbon Offsets strategy of the climate plan. Carrie played a big role in helping get the City Climate Action Plan passed. I asked her what the passage of this plan meant for the city, here’s what she had to say:
“It was really important that they passed the Plan now, before the City’s administration changed hands. By passing it, the council showed that the plan does (and should) transcend administration boundaries and speak for what the citizens of Albuquerque want. Now that the plan has been officially adopted as a framework for tackling climate change over the next 40 years, we need to keep momentum by looking at costing, ranking and piloting the areas of the plan that the public wants to see prioritized. The unanimous vote last night (yes, even Counselor Harris voted for it after questioning the reality of climate change and the “herd mentality” around the issue) was a tremendous gift for everyone who worked so hard on the plan. And Isaac Benton and Ray Garduno stood out as strong champions for the plan by giving thoughtful, reasoned and science-based facts about the urgency of addressing climate change now rather than later.”
From everyone I know who worked on this plan, it was a long, hard fought process, but thankfully they were successful in getting this great plan passed for our city. Not only will it give us more access to ways that our city can save energy (and money) from efficiency and energy saving methodologies, but it will also bring new opportunities to produce local jobs that will help implement the City Climate Action Plan.
After the plan was passed, I also was able to get a quick comment from Shrayas Jatkar of the local Sierra Club. He was also one of the many volunteers who helped maked this initiative a success. Here’s what Shrayas had to say about their victory:
“Thanks to the City Council’s vote on Monday, we can finally move forward with putting smart climate action strategies into action. The ABQ Climate Coalition will be focused on this effort so that we can realize the benefits in terms of cost savings, job creation, as well as improved public health and livability from enacting the Plan as soon as possible.”
I’d like to extend a big thanks to all the volunteers who helped produce, review, and ultimately pass our city’s first Climate Action Plan. It’s definitely a step in the right direction as our city moves to becoming more sustainable and green economy friendly.