Friday, January 17, 2020

City Council, January 21st - Council Goals and Strategic Plan: Slow-walking on Climate

Council meets on Tuesday (because of the holiday) for a Work Session on Council Goals and the Strategic Plan.

Dissent today at the 9th Circuit Court
(Judge Josephine L. Staton)
Is scoping first a dodge?
The Staff Report on a Climate Action plan is thin. It doesn't actually mention "reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Instead, it mentions only "practices, programs, and plans...aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change."

It also calls for scoping before actually embarking on a plan.

This is at least a little bit of a slow-walk. Maybe scoping is truly necessary, but altogether it reads like the City wants to do the minimum, to create as little disruption or change as possible, a bit of a Potemkin plan with more signalling than substance.

By contrast, the language recently announced from Barcelona is much more urgent. From Reuters:
The city of Barcelona has declared a “climate emergency”, setting a new target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 through more than 100 main measures that will also help residents adapt to the impacts of a warming planet.
(Over the weekend there will be a little more to say on other items at the Work Session. Updated with link.)


Jim Scheppke said...

350 Salem OR is requesting that a Salem Climate Action Plan be completed in the FY 2021 fiscal year. If I am reading this correctly it is the staff recommendation that funding be requested for "developing a climate action plan" in FY 2021. That would satisfy our request. The "scope" is already defined in the Salem Strategic Plan (2017) as being a "community-wide environmental strategy" that "prioritizes reductions of greenhouse gas emissions." The Strategic Plan also speaks to making a "measurable impact" and to "emphasiz[ing] equity in terms of access to resources to help all members of our community reduce their individual impact." 350 Salem OR will certainly insist on this broad scope that was adopted in the Strategic Plan in 2017. We like the Climate Action Plan developed by the City of Milwaukie and have advocated that it be used as a model for Salem's plan.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

I hope you are right about the text and intent from 2017. This current language about "mitigation" rather than reduction is a little concerning still. (Here are some notes on the City of Milwaukie's Plan.)

Susann Kaltwasser said...

The work session was postponed to February 18th due to the lateness of the hour after the City Council meeting that went long due to testimony on the Pringle Hall issue

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Here are further notes on a slightly revised Staff Recommendation and a new Climate Audit Report.

The whole looks more concerned with the adoption of policy and procedure than with the measurement and reduction of emissions. It's more about performing the emblems of a plan than actually making change.