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Columbia's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

May 10, 2019

Dear Constituent:

Congratulations to Barbara Buffaloe, other staff in the Office of Sustainability, and members of the Mayor's Task Force on Climate Action and Adaptation Planning - on developing an excellent draft plan for mitigating the future impacts of climate change!

The City of Columbia is stepping up to confront an existential global threat, and I encourage you to take some time to review the Draft Climate Action and Adaptation Plan and complete the Public Feedback Survey, which will remain open until Friday, May 10th.

Last year, the City Council adopted the following goals for Columbia, which were recommended by the Task Force:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the City of Columbia's municipal operations 50% by 2035 and 100% ("carbon neutrality") by 2050
  • Reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 35% by 2035, 80% by 2050, and 100% by 2060

These targets represent our part in an international effort to limit the rise in the global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius, and avert the most catastrophic climate impacts of warming.  In order to achieve them, we will need to make significant operational changes in the energy, transportation, housing, and waste sectors in Columbia, and the draft plan lays out broad strategies for success.  For example, here are the goals and strategies for transportation:

Goal 1: Reduce travel by car

  • Strategy 1.1: Build a thriving public transit system
  • Strategy 1.2: Create a bikeable community
  • Strategy 1.3: Create a walkable community
  • Strategy 1.4: Shift land use patterns to shorten trips and reduce the need to drive
  • Strategy 1.5: Prioritize safety and convenience of walking, biking, and riding transit

Goal 2. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles

  • Strategy 2.1: Improve efficiency of vehicle traffic
  • Strategy 2.2: Reduce use and ownership of personal vehicles
  • Strategy 2.3: Encourage use of low- to zero-emissions vehicles

It is very important that we adopt a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan that has strong community support, and so the City Council needs your feedback on the draft plan developed by the Task Force and City staff. Please complete the Public Feedback Survey no later than Friday, and feel free to email me with your thoughts about the draft plan.

Constituent Conversations

My next Constituent Conversations at Dunn Bros. Coffee will be on Sundays, June 16th and 30th, 2-4pm.  Upcoming dates are always available at my web site.

Finally, thanks very much to Beth Hastings for my new web site and constituent newsletter design.

Cheers, Ian