Friday, January 13, 2023

It PASSED! A Climate Action Plan for La Crosse

On January 12, the City Council unanimously accepted La Crosse's Climate Action Plan. The result of a year's worth of meetings, planning, prioritizing, studying, debating, learning, and discussing, led by City Sustainability Planner, Lewis Kuhlman, and consulting firm paleBLUEdot llc, the plan puts our city on track to reduce our carbon emissions as pledged in the 2019 "Ready for 100" resolution.
Several community members wrote or spoke in support of the plan at an earlier committee meeting, and Mayor Reynolds and Council Members Neumann. Janssen, and Mindel (the leader of the City Council's Climate Action Plan Steering Committee), added their own strong support at the January 12 meeting of the whole council.
Now, the real work begins, and none too soon. To no one's surprise, assessments of countries' actual emissions reductions weighed against carbon pledges show too little and too late. From the U.S. to the City of Madison, the world is falling short on meeting our goals. This makes it all the more important for more communities to pledge and take actions.

If you haven't yet read the plan, please do. Divided into nine sections, it recommends actions on improving active transportation (walking, biking, and public transit), saving and planting more trees, changing where we permit new housing, speeding up solar installations, and much more.

Importantly, the resolution passed by the council on Thursday also included immediate action pledges to get the city's departments on board right away and ensure a strong first year of action.

This was the end of a wonderful, long process with lots of public input and real listening and inclusion by the team of nearly 50 community members who worked on it. The goals set by the team are minimums--in almost every case, the team wanted it to be understood that faster changes resulting in more emissions is preferred. But, with the help of the consultants, if we achieve the stated goals, our emissions should drop to zero by 2050.

Get involved now. Read the plan and look for ways to help implement it.

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