The big news from Edina, Minnesota is the unanimous passage of the Edina Climate Action Plan, a nine-year program to cut greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030. The Plan includes over 200 specific actions that the city will be focusing on.
RPCV4EA Board Member Paul Thompson and Mindy Ahler, Regional Coordinator for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, were on the planning team. Next steps? Implementation!
Paul and Mindy had a Letter to the Editor published in the SUN Current where they state, “the Edina Climate Action Plan will only be successful when all of us hold our city accountable and work together to make this plan a reality.” Read their Letter to the Editor below.
Letter: Climate Action Plan means take action
Dec 16, 2021
To the editor:
On Dec. 7, the Edina City Council approved the Edina Climate Action Plan (CAP). This plan has set an ambitious goal of lowering the city’s carbon emissions 45% by 2030. The CAP focuses on eight different areas: transportation and land use, buildings and energy, waste management, water and wastewater, local food and agriculture, greenspace and tree canopy, climate health and safety, and the climate economy – everyone can find a place to contribute and participate.
The CAP has undergone a nine-month planning process with a committee of 26 members including city staff and local residents. The process has been guided by Grace Hancock, Edina Sustainability Manager, and paleBLUEdot, Maplewood-based consultants that have done similar climate and energy planning efforts in 49 communities in 22 states.
Rather than bore you with the sad statistics of degrading water sources, air quality alerts, or the disappearance of natural snow – this plan is a call to action. Specific actions are called for to prevent the worst aspects of climate change and focus on building a better future for all of Edina, our state and beyond.
Our work with students in Project Earth, the environmental club at Edina High School, and middle schoolers in SVEG (South View Environmental Group) has given us a view of the future they want. The CAP leads to this future with actions like waste reduction (think growing local food, less packaging), organics recycling (healthy soil), more biking, walking and public transportation (focus on health and fitness), and canvassing neighborhoods to help families learn new ways of saving money and cutting their carbon pollution.
The most important thing people can do about climate change is to talk about it, says Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist, communicator and author of “Saving Us.” The CAP provides a guide for those conversations and a way to turn our talk into actions.
The City Council and the Energy and Environment Commission deserve our thanks for forward thinking, but the Edina Climate Action Plan will only be successful when all of us hold our city accountable and work together to make this plan a reality.