We face no greater challenge than climate change and the impending consequences. The ability for profound impacts at the city level are scarce but we have an obligation to identify and incorporate green policies and practices into all aspects of city government. Lean and green means reducing waste, preparing for the impacts of climate change, reducing carbon footprint and supporting carbon-neutral or ameliorative activities. Some activities will be simple to identify – a preference for electric or hybrid fleet vehicles, planting native trees to shade pedestrian routes – many more will require the full participation and ideas by city workers and employees. It is a generational challenge to re-think how our communities and cities can sustainably address climate change. On the City Council I will push to;
Develop a comprehensive Green plan for ALL city functions
Develop a forecast of anticipated costs due to climate change
Foster resident-led initiatives and incentives to develop green governance practices
The model for a national response is there, and it involves all of us taking part. For the city addressing practical questions about how to mitigate costs from the impact of climate change need to be part of all planning; from increased air-conditioning cost, to clean up after increasingly intense storms and the need to maintain water service with increasing stresses on infrastructure and more variation in water availability.
Of equal importance is how can we identify and incorporate efforts to reduce human impacts on the environment? How do we effectively encourage eco-friendly transportation options, provide incentives for green business practices and incorporate environmentally responsible practices into regular city functions; Some of the ideas I will pursue are: bus stops topped by solar panels; green roofs, solar panels or reflective paint on city facilities. Many ideas will come from city residents, especially youth who understand that they will bear the costs and burdens of a planet changing in unpredictable ways. By making green governance a core philosophy and encourage innovative solutions we can hope to do our share in dealing with a changing climate.