The City and project team have released a Preliminary Public Review Draft of our Climate Action Plan.
I do not understand it. It reads like a sales and marketing document, not like a policy plan. If the goal was to have a plan for a 50% reduction in emissions by 2035, we are still distant from having that plan.
|The very first words|
From the start, it sells good intentions and lofty language, but it is very short on actual policy recommendations to achieve the outcomes it teases. It says we are "taking action," but aside from the action of publishing the plan, what action is there? Our "ambitions" seem content to remain ambitions, not actions.
|Tentativeness: "Might be able to achieve"|
Indeed, in the Executive Summary, there is already a retreat, and the actions are qualified as those we "might be able to achieve." In the body of the plan, distinct from the appendices attached to it, there are only three policy recommendations, and these lack any estimate for impact on total emissions. They are mentioned only because they are "cost-effective."
|The only actual recommendations?|
And they seem vitiated by the coach speak, the "determined resolve" of trying hard. ("Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," etc.?)
In the main part of the plan, the only "implementation recommendations" are meta, recommendations for process and for institutionalizing some future version of a plan, not recommendations for policy action in this plan.
|Meta: Plan about a plan|
Towards the end there are two sections on "actions for individuals" and "actions for organizations and employers."
But there is no actual policy in the plan that will incent or require individuals, organizations, or employers to undertake these actions, and the list seems like off-loading responsibility in a discourse of climate delay. Rather than asking individuals to "opt for active transportation," what is our suite of policy actions that will make active transportation the easy, convenient, and obvious choice? Right now our policy actions make driving the easy, convenient, and obvious choice, and "opting for active transportation" is swimming upstream against the current.
We are left with a conclusion that promises "innovative progress" but does not actually enact any progress. There is nothing actually innovative here yet. This is the hype of vaporware chasing venture capital funding!
See recent notes:
- "Draft Strategies for Climate Action Plan Still Evade the Heart of the Matter"
- "Meeting Structure and Rhetoric on Climate may have Invited Doubt and Delay"
- At Council, "Prep for Climate Work Session on 20th"
- And on the Work Session, "Climate Plan is a Dud," which in light of this draft plan, still seems accurate. It will be interesting to read praise for it or less critical assessments of it.