Let's Set Enforceable Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals in Corvallis!
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The City of Corvallis has created a Task Force to develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP), and set greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets.
With this CAP Corvallis is taking a big step forward---but if the target is NOT based on up-to-date science and is NOT established into law, the CAP will lack meaning and motivation for action.
To fix this, YouCAN Corvallis and its partners are creating a GHG Reduction Ordinance that would establish the City's GHG target into law, to ensure that our local government implements its Climate Action Plan.
You and the Corvallis community can help protect our atmosphere by supporting this incredible ordinance! Yes YOU CAN cultivate a healthy climate!
- City Council of Corvallis
City Councilors of Corvallis
- City of Corvallis Climate Action Task Force
City of Corvallis Climate Action Task Force Member
Thank you immensely for the City Council's honored commitment to climate change via the establishment of the Climate Action Task Force. This action is transforming our community into a leader in our state and country. One very urgent issue that requires attention is the establishment of a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction target. A GHG target should be calculated separate from the Corvallis Climate Action Plan. These targets should be, as a matter of efficiency, based on the absolute best available science, and should be calculated now.
The reasoning behind this is that establishing a target is “Step 2” in the ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability’s 5 Step process; secondly, the target should be based on the best available science (not internal considerations); thirdly, it needs to be included in all City plans and Council goals; and finally, that establishing a target is already supported by City of Corvallis resolutions and our state-wide laws. This process is the continuation of our work as a community and our ability to seek solutions.
Government Climate Action Plan emission targets are often driven by internal considerations: what a city can achieve and afford and what political peers find maintainable. As a result, these targets are are not often designed to achieve what needs to be done reducing global GHG emissions to levels that will avert dangerous climate disruption. In keeping with this Task Force’s stated mission to “take bold action to address climate change,” I urge the Task Force to develop legally binding emission reduction targets based on the best available science.
It is important that any GHG targets be included in the CAP, and also integrated in all city plans and City Council goals. The Climate Action Plan is a vehicle to get us to our goal, so that other actions can help our community get us to the destination (the GHG Target). ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability explains that “implementing emissions reductions measures is the most important part of the milestone process.”
The time is right for city governments around the world to demonstrate leadership on climate action by aligning voluntary greenhouse gas reduction targets with climate science. By doing so, residents and businesses will improve performance through resource efficiency and innovative solutions; they will become more sustainable and competitive in the long run, and improve their reputation and citizen trust.
Additionally, understanding and managing climate risks and the adaptation benefits in working towards the 1°C pathway brings increased business resilience and thus improved performance.
Further benefits of setting sound science-based GHG Targets are that they help us to:
• Focus attention on meaningful efforts needed to reduce emissions
• Act as a rallying point that can get all levels and all Plans (City Council Goals, Vision 2040,
Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Plan, etc.,) of the municipality involved
• Frame the concept of reducing carbon in real and tangible terms
• Demonstrate a municipality’s commitment to reducing its impact on a shared climate
The city has done the following to work on the issue:
2000 – Resolution 200015 was passed committing to Participation in the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign to develop and implement a climate action plan
2005 — Corvallis joined the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement that urges their state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the GHG emission reduction target suggested for the US in the Kyoto Protocol—7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and urges the US Congress to pass the bipartisan GHG reduction legislation establishing a national
emissions trading system.
2008 – City joins ICLEILocal Governments for Sustainability.
2009 – Community Energy Strategy: A 2020 Framework
2010 – Greenhouse gas inventory update for municipal operations.
2013 – Greenhouse gas inventory for City of Corvallis Statewide, Oregon already has GHG pollution limits on the books. In 2007, the Oregon Legislature passed a law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. However there is nothing to enforce those limits, and the State is not on track to meet those targets.
If the goal is a habitable city, state, or planet, then a binding, science-based GHG Target will aid us in arriving at our goal—a habitable planet for our children. Their future and the future of our atmosphere is why the incorporation of a GHG emission reduction target into City plans is critical. Our city has a directive, a responsibility to our youth and future generations, to act boldly on climate change. I strongly believe that we, as community of brilliant, dedicated, caring people, can make progressive changes to become an example to the state and to the nation.
Today: YouCAN Corvallis is counting on you
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