Recently, the city of Evansville has begun work on a Climate Action Plan (CAP), headed up by Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute representative Carolyn Townsend and Timothy Weir, administrator, Commission on Homelessness for Evansville and Vanderburgh County. This strategic plan is set to outline how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.
“But this plan will go so much further beyond that,” says Townsend. “We’re hoping this plan is comprehensive in that we’re addressing other issues such as food insecurity and food deserts in our area.”
To be as comprehensive as possible, Townsend and Weir spent June and July surveying residents, organizations, and businesses. In gathering data, they hope the community takes a personal role in climate action.
“We want to get across that this is a long-term plan designed to span across decades,” says Noah Stubbs, director of communications for Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “Our goal is to make a plan that is attainable and practical for the community.”
While the open survey will continue through August, more meetings are planned with youth workshops, Evansville universities, and the Southwestern Indiana Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals network.
“People are interested in learning more about what they can do to help reduce their carbon footprint and what they can do to help support the community effort,” says Weir. “That’s been encouraging to hear. Education is a big part of what we will include in the planning process.”
When the information gathering is complete, the finalized CAP will include a summary of Evansville’s greenhouse gas inventory, emission reduction targets for the city, and action steps to reduce those emissions in transportation, energy and buildings, waste, and other actions.
“Evansville has been working at this for a while,” says Weir, referencing energy saving measures many residents and businesses already use. “This plan is going to help us take it to the next level.”