October 25, 2018
Climate changes impact all of our lives, but our most
vulnerable residents are already disproportionately affected by the extreme
heat and increased precipitation. For these residents, the results of climate
change mean seeking shelter, mounting utility bills and further strain upon
preexisting mobility obstacles.
The world recently received an important wake-up call with
the release of the special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change. To avoid irreversible climate
disruption, we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030
and reach net zero emissions by 2050.
In the past 65 years, Columbus’ climate has warmed faster
than the national and global climate.
Columbus also has the 8th most intense Urban Heat
Island. This means that on average, it
is 4.4 degrees F hotter in the City than in nearby rural areas and can get up
to 24.0 degrees F hotter on some days.
If we don’t act now, our most vulnerable residents will
suffer the most.
The wellbeing and prosperity of our community is
inextricably linked to solving the climate crisis. This presents a great opportunity to our
generation to innovate. As America’s
first Smart City, Columbus is no stranger to innovation. We are working to decarbonize our power
supply and change our transportation sector by increasing electric vehicle
adoption and facilitating alternate transit modes through the Smart Columbus
Electrification Plan. With our partner organizations, we are investing in
building efficiency and renewable energy so that businesses can operate
efficiently and homes are not just affordable to buy—but that are affordable to
live in. Through the Columbus Food
Action Plan, we are encouraging the production of local food and, by collaborating
with SWACO, we are helping to develop a comprehensive food waste initiative.
Last March at the GreenSpotLight awards, I announced our new
movement, Sustainable Columbus, that embeds sustainability planning in every
aspect of our City’s work so that we can continue to grow strong neighborhoods
for all Columbus residents.
Please join me in working toward a carbon-neutral
future. I encourage your household to join Columbus GreenSpot and commit
to conserving energy, conserving water, greening transportation and reducing
I also encourage businesses to join GreenSpot by adopting
sustainable actions like changing lights to LEDs and installing energy
efficient boilers, insulation and windows.
More than 17,000 GreenSpot members have reduced their greenhouse gas
emissions by more than 30 million pounds. For more information, check out www.ColumbusGreenSpot.org.
Take advantage of these programs:
Join the Sustainable Columbus movement so we can remain
America’s Opportunity City for generations to come.