Following its recent trend of addressing how to combat the growing impact of climate change, the Cloverdale City Council adopted a climate emergency resolution last Wednesday, which aims for the city to adopt “immediate emergency mobilization actions to restore a safe climate and achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2030.”
The resolution passed 4-0. Councilmember Gus Wolter was absent.
City Manager David Kelley said that the resolution’s action steps revolve around six different areas including community engagement, land use, building energy, solid waste, transportation and water delivery and treatment.
The resolution was created by a county climate mobilization group and has been sent to cities around the county.
“We already know what needs to be done, and we have the knowledge to do it. We must face up to the climate science and the facts and go into emergency mode and throw everything we’ve got at this emergency to ensure a safe, livable climate for all,” said Dan Fitzsimmons, a resident who also serves as a Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) Cloverdale representative. “I advise council to not view this resolution as a feel-good-in-the-moment act, passing this is a good first step but we urgently need all hands on deck to face this impending global catastrophe.”
Fitzsimmons requested that the council seek or appoint a group to serve as teachers, advocates and city ambassadors to help educate community members on climate issues.
Resident Brooke Green suggested looking at idling school buses in line during school drop-off as a way of addressing one local form of carbon emissions.
The resolution included points of action for the six areas described by Kelley, including implementation of the zero waste resolution that was adopted by the city council earlier this year. Additional points involved considering a polystyrene ban, considering the use of electric vehicles for city use when possible, increase the planting of trees, updating the city’s zoning ordinance and others.
Pete Gang told the council that while reducing future emissions is important, they need to also keep in mind that the emissions currently in the atmosphere will have a lasting impact on climate change as well. Gang also asked the council to “do everything possible to engage and involve the community, because this issue is on everybody’s mind.”
“I want to commend the city for bringing forward this resolution, and I want to really commend you for the work plan that’s been put together,” said Jane Elias, a resident who is also a Cloverdale RCPA representative. Elias echoed Gang’s recommendation for promoting community involvement and education in regard to climate change.
Councilmember Jason Turner suggested that Cloverdale create an action group devoted to climate change, while Councilmember Marta Cruz requested the community engagement efforts include reaching out to all members of the community, specifically outreach to Cloverdale’s Latino community. She also requested that the city work with the Cloverdale Unified School District to discuss how to loop the district in on climate-conscious efforts.
The city staff were directed to add the suggestions voiced by both the council and the community to the resolution’s work plan. Rather than creating an action group devoted to climate change, the issue will stay as a standing item on the Planning and Community Development subcommittee.