TKPK City Council adopts resolution to achieve net-zero emissions city-wide by 2035 and be fossil fuel-free city-wide by 2045!
Takoma Park City Council adopts resolution to achieve net zero emissions city-wide by 2035 and be fossil fuel-free city-wide by 2045!
On Wednesday, March 4, 2020, continuing the long-standing work of the City of Takoma Park on climate change, the Takoma Park City Council passed, by a vote of 5 to 2, the 2020 CLIMATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE FRAMEWORK Resolution. The resolution adopts a climate action framework of priority strategies and potential policy changes for consideration in the areas of buildings, transportation, renewable energy, and becoming a fossil fuel-free community.
The resolution outlines strategies to lead the community to achieve net zero emissions city-wide by 2035 and be fossil fuel-free by 2045. The priority strategies identified in the resolution include provisions to improve the efficiency of all types of buildings, reduce transportation-related emissions, accelerate the transition to 100% renewable electricity and phase-out of fossil fuels, and increase the City’s ability to adapt and be resilient to climate change.
A considerable amount of discussion among Councilmembers focused on concerns about how the priority strategies might impact residents and businesses, as well as potential costs of implementing each strategy. In the Resolution, Council mandated that before adopting any individual ordinance or policy, the City will address potential disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations and identify mechanisms to assist those residents or businesses who may need technical or financial assistance. During the upcoming budget discussions, the Council will be establishing a Sustainability Assistance Fund to start creating a source of funding for programs to provide financial assistance to eligible residents and businesses as they face and work to fight climate change.
The next step will be a robust community collaboration process to develop the individual ordinances and implementation plans for specific priority strategies.
The resolution sparked community engagement, with over 100 public comments, endorsements from the Takoma Park Committee on the Environment, Takoma Park Youth Council, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Maryland Sierra Club, Takoma Mobilization, a group of technical experts appointed by Montgomery County for its climate action planning process, and over 150 residents who signed a petition.
As the City’s Sustainability Manager, I feel Takoma Park’s continued willingness to act is the result of not just the Council’s leadership and the City’s management, but most of all, the passion and knowledge of the City’s residents. I am so excited to see what this wonderful City can accomplish as we work together in the coming years to achieve our goals.
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The resolution can be viewed here
Gina Mathias, Sustainability Manager