Updated: April 12, 2021 11:09 PM
Created: April 12, 2021 10:26 PM
The Duluth City Council has unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency in the city.
This will now allow the city to develop a "Climate Action Work Plan" with the goal of reducing the city's emissions at least 80 percent by 2050.
The plan will identify strategies for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and to help both city government, and the community prepare for a changing climate.
This would be done by reducing energy consumption in buildings, increasing efficiency and resiliency in city utilities, supporting low-carbon transportation options, and supporting renewable energy development among other things.
Duluth City councilmember Joel Sipress co-sponsored the resolution. He emphasized how the plan is meant to address what he called a "climate crisis" now rather than later.
"This is a practical plan. Practical steps the city will take across all its areas of operations. This is not the 30-year dream. This is like the five-year plan for what we're going to do now," said Sipress.
While Mayor Emily Larson has committed the city to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2050 -- Sipress says that is quote "insufficient". Therefore, he says they will quote "accelerate their work" to exceed that goal.
As part of the resolution, the "Climate Action Work Plan" will be delivered to the city council by December 31st of this year.
City administration will also provide an annual report to the council summarizing actions taken and progress made to achieve the goals set forth in the plan.