Burlington completes Climate Action Plan update
The City of Burlington has put the finishing touches on an update to its groundbreaking 2000 Climate Action Plan. The update, the culmination of a lengthy process of public input and prioritization, along with a sophisticated greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and modeling tool, were developed by Shelly Martin, previously a Project Manager for Spring Hill Solutions, and paid for with Recovery Act Energy Efficiency Block Grant Federal funds.
“Burlington has a long history of being at the forefront of the climate change issue. We were one of the first cities to join the ‘Cities for Climate Protection’ campaign in 1996,” said Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss. “From there, a forward-thinking City Council adopted our initial Climate Action Plan in 2000. Now we know, beyond any doubt, that addressing climate change is a critical responsibility of good government. I look forward to seeing the updated Climate Action Plan adopted by the new City Council in 2012.”
“This is a landmark effort four years in the making. Many of the climate mitigation actions listed in the plan will help us not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but should save the City and its residents money in the long run.” says Burlington’s Comprehensive Planner Sandrine Thibault. “There is work to be done. While there has been progress in some areas, overall, the 2007 and 2010 inventories show an increase in GHGs generated in Burlington. If we want to make a real difference we will need to work hard to find new resources necessary to effectively implement this plan.”
The new Climate Action Plan builds on the 2000 plan, and charts the course for achieving the City’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, both within City operations and across the community as a whole. Both plans target a goal of reducing GHG’s to 20% below 2007 levels by the year 2020, and an 80% reduction by 2050. The update marks the first time the City has successfully tracked its carbon footprint over a period of time.
The draft plan is available for review and will ultimately be adopted as part of the City’s Municipal Development Plan. The adoption process is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved and provide feedback. The Burlington Planning Commission has warned a public hearing to begin the approval and adoption process scheduled for April 10, 2012 at 7:00pm in room #12 of City Hall. Once approved by the Commission, the plan will move forward to City Council for more public discussion, review and final approval.
“Burlington has been a leader in their climate change mitigation efforts. I am proud to have been a part of updating their Action Plan and developing a tool to make subsequent GHG inventories easy and transparent,” says Martin, now a sustainability analyst with Earthshift in Huntington, VT.
More information about the City of Burlington’s climate action work and the full Climate Action Plan Update can be found at: http://burlingtonvt.gov/CAP/.
City of Burlington 3.15.2012