Carboro City Council Discusses Climate Action Plan Funding
Carrboro City Council discussed its climate action plan at its March 8 meeting, ultimately agreeing to invest 20% of the city’s budget sector allocated for climate initiatives in the plan.
The plan, adopted in 2009, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per capita in Carboro by 80% by 2030. It also aims to provide residents with benefits such as improved energy efficiency, the creation of jobs and better air quality.
The meeting’s original agenda proposed using 20% of the city’s annual budget that is specific to achieve climate action goals, considering federal and state funding and overall cost.
But at the meeting, council member Sammy Slade suggested changing the wording to propose funding a minimum of 20% of the city’s budget allocated to climate change initiatives over the next 10 years.
Council member Barbara Foushee said that even if she understands and respects Slade’s proposal, the city budget may not be able to set aside 20% of funds for climate goals.
Other board members also questioned the wording of the proposal, including Randee Haven-O’Donnell. They said the responsibility for achieving these goals involves other communities outside of Carrboro.
“We need to do this not just across the county and across the region, but across the state, across the east coast and across the country,” Haven-O’Donnell said.
Slade said external support and resources are key to achieving the city’s goals.
“We can’t do this alone,” he said. “We need the support of other entities.”
In response to the proposed change, council member Danny Nowell said the budget goal can be used as a way to measure the city’s progress.
“I think the intent (of the 20 percent goal) is to give us a baseline of what we’re going to look at to gauge our success on those goals and strategies,” he said.
Haven-O’Donnell said the community plays an important role in shaping a way forward to address climate change.
“We have a lot of work to do in Carrboro, but I see that the most important frontier that we have to venture into is to get (the) community to roll up their sleeves and understand what they can do – what we can all be done together,” they said.
In response, Slade said significant action needs to be taken now at the local level.
He said the misconception that local areas have limited ability to prevent climate change has led to the current situation.
“What’s happening everywhere is every level of government is saying, ‘Oh, we need others to follow us before they follow us,’ and that’s why no one is doing anything,” he said. declared. “One of the things about Carrboro is that we’re meant to be that place that does what’s right.”
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