Lightfoot’s climate action plan calls for “a zero-emissions transportation network” – Streetsblog Chicago
Since Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently called our multimodal metropolis “a car city”, and is currently proposing a plan to spend $7.5 million of taxpayers’ money on free gas cards, in effect paying people to create more greenhouse gas emissions, you could be forgiven for assuming she doesn’t care about climate change.
But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and take a look at today’s announcement from the mayor’s office regarding Lightfoot’s 2022 climate action plan, which the city touts as an “informed plan by the community to mitigate the impacts of climate change and position Chicago as a job creator and economic leader in the new economy. The actual document will be released later this year.
The mayor announced the document at an Earth Day event with aldermen and other community leaders from Plant Chicago, a sustainable food business incubator in Back of the Yards founded by my longtime Chicago buddy. Critical Mass, John Edel. According to city officials, in 2008, under then-Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago became the first major US city to develop a comprehensive climate action plan, and the goal of new document is to “reposition Chicago as a global leader in climate action and economic growth.
In addition to using greenhouse gas emissions inventory data, Lightfoot’s office led the development of the 2022 plan by hosting listening sessions, virtual town halls and an open comment period that collected feedback from more than 2,100 residents, officials said. City departments and sister agencies were also asked to help define the plan’s objectives.
“Now more than ever, cities around the world have a responsibility and a moral obligation to act and prioritize the protection of residents and businesses from climate impacts.” Lightfoot said in a statement. “Chicago is no exception. The 2022 Climate Action Plan demonstrates a commitment to pursue ambitious climate action in ways that deliver meaningful benefits at the community level. We can alleviate historical environmental burdens and invest in the health, safety and resilience of communities by investing equitably in essential clean energy infrastructure and nature-based solutions, catalyzing a workforce prepared for all facets of the green economy and encouraging innovative new types of economic growth. and job creation.
City officials say CAP 2022 builds on Lightfoot’s budget for this year, which includes the $188 million earmarked for climate mitigation in Chicago’s stimulus package, and sets a reduction target. emissions in Chicago by 62% by 2040.
Hahahahahahahahahaha. Reduce emissions by 62% in 2040. Of course.
— Balu Puppy (@balupuppy) April 22, 2022
The new climate plan includes five pillars (words from the city):
- Reduce costs for households and businesses through utility savings and expanded access to renewable energy, including a commitment to retrofit 20% of all building types in the City of Chicago, retrofit 90% of the city’s building portfolio by 2035 and develop 20MW Chicago-based community renewables
- Reduce waste by committing to introduce an organic waste collection system by 2025 and divert 90% of our residential waste by 2040 and create jobs through expanded material reuse opportunities
- Provide a zero-emissions transportation network and improve air quality by expanding the city’s walking, cycling, and transit options, increasing CTA ridership, and supporting fleet electrification municipal and commercial
- Invest in our clean energy future, delivering on our commitments to 100% renewable energy for city operations by 2025 and citywide by 2035, investing in 30 MW of renewable energy on city ownership by 2030 and encouraging a transition from fossil fuel power plants during peak energy demand to clean up battery storage technologies
- Strengthen communities and protect health by enabling investments in community resilience and enabling health and racial equity criteria in decision-making
Obviously, the third pillar is the one that most interests Streetsblog readers. In fairness to Lightfoot, her gas card proposal is part of Chicago Moves’ larger plan, which also includes $5 million for free transit passes (50% less than she wants to spend on rides). free gas cards.)
And this week, the city announced the Better Streets for Buses initiative, a community input program to determine which roads should be prioritized for bus improvements, which hopefully won’t be killed or watered down due to the backsliding of drivers and shopkeepers, as well as inertial bureaucracy. This has happened with past bus projects like Ashland’s Bus Rapid Transit Corridor and Loop Link, respectively.
In February, CTA announced “Charging Forward,” its first-ever roadmap for fleet-wide electrification. However, this should not happen before 2040.
The Chicago Department of Transportation is also in the midst of a plan to install 100 miles of upgraded and new bike lanes in 2021-22. But advocacy groups like the Active Transportation Alliance have pointed out that the current bike plan is too scattered to create what Chicago really needs: a citywide network of connected and physically protected bike lanes.
Either way, the Climate Action Plan initiative, which the city says will focus on improving African American, Latino, low-income and working-class neighborhoods, has received kind words. from local sustainability and environmental justice advocates.
“Equity is thrilled to see the 2022 Climate Action Plan’s strong commitment to making walking, cycling and access to public transit more viable for racially marginalized communities,” said Oboi Reed, Head of the nonprofit organization Equitity for Mobility Justice in a statement. “Our ‘Go Hub: A Community Mobility Center’, located in North Lawndale, brings together hardware – bikes, scooters and other infrastructure – with software – community mobility rituals and advocacy to increase mobility in a neighborhood experiencing severe transportation inequities Racial equity, mobility justice, and environmental justice are all inextricably linked and require ambition and coordination to improve the lives of Black, Brown, and working-class communities.
Check out the documents related to the 2022 Climate Action Plan here and let us know what you think in the comments section.