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Florida cities partner to tackle climate change

Joint climate action plan calls for mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1 per cent each year through to 2028.

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Wherever possible, collaboration is the goal between the cities on climate action
Wherever possible, collaboration is the goal between the cities on climate action

The cities of Oakland Park and Wilton Manors, Florida, have released what is thought to be the US’ first joint climate action plan by neighbouring municipalities.

 

Two Cities, One Sustainable Future action plan calls for mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 1 per cent each year through to 2028.

 

Infrastructure and resilience

 

The plan also seeks to address and improve infrastructure and resilience into the next decade. It reportedly has also served as a model for other communities around the country that have now adopted the approach.

 

“The Wilton Manors-Oakland Park joint climate action plan will serve as our road map to achieve three primary goals: reduction of carbons emissions by at least 1 per cent per year over a period of 10 years, making our municipal infrastructure more resilient, and encouraging residents and businesses to prepare for higher sea levels and more severe weather events,” said Justin Flippen, mayor of Wilton Manors.

 

“But make no mistake, the city commission must invest in these goals, in order to prepare for the coming changes, and to ensure that our quality of life will be preserved for generations to come.”

 

The plan is intended to be implementable whether or not the two cities act in concert on the objectives or proceed unilaterally. Wherever possible, collaboration is a goal and the cities are members of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI) to support this collaboration.

 

Wilton Manors has completed municipal and community-wide greenhouse gas emission inventories using ICLEI tools and Oakland Park is in the review phase of completing its inventory.

“Positioned at sea level in one of the most at-risk parts of the world for sea level rise, both Oakland Park and Wilton Manors may be particular vulnerable to climate change, but we are not waiting to take action”

“As a community leadership team, the cities of Oakland Park and Wilton Manors have a responsibility to protect our natural resources for a more sustainable future,” said Sara Guevrekian, mayor of Oakland Park.

 

“Proper recycling, preservation of green space and the prioritisation of smart growth are areas that we can all embrace. I encourage our public works and engineering staff to continue to proactively engage us with participation and policy suggestions for a healthier tomorrow.”

 

Near-term planned measures will work toward the GHG reduction target of 1 per cent annually through 2028 by conducting outreach to high water users, raising the sea wall requirements, transitioning all streetlights to LED, participating in the Go Solar partnership and adding biking and walking lanes.

 

Oakland Park and Wilton Manors will continue as members of the ICLEI network in order to bring the best international and national processes and practices into their implementation work.

 

“Positioned at sea level in one of the most at-risk parts of the world for sea level rise, both Oakland Park and Wilton Manors may be particular vulnerable to climate change, but we are not waiting to take action,” added Albert Carbon, public works director for Oakland Park.

 

“By combining our planning efforts, we hope to leverage our municipal finance and shared water infrastructure and transportation systems to act faster and smarter.”

 

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