CEAC (the Climate Economy Action Center of Addison County) has begun a concentrated 10-month process to produce a Climate Action Plan for the county. This process will incorporate substantial community input to provide a much-needed blueprint for broad, community-supported reduction of local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to be measured against CEAC’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
The process began with a Climate Roundtable, followed by an introductory workshop for a core planning team of about a dozen knowledgeable and active people from around Addison County. Another workshop occurred in May.
From that second workshop will emerge a list of possible strategic goals for the year 2030 — goals that would be addressed by local actions to be specified later in the planning process. The three broad domains being addressed are agriculture, transportation and buildings.
Starting in early June and running through July, members of this core planning team will be interviewing several dozen community leaders in a wide variety of roles to get reactions to the proposed strategic goals for 2030. Are the goals sufficiently ambitious (or too ambitious)? Do they address the right issues? Are there local actions that we can tentatively identify that will help us in meeting those goals?
We anticipate that the people we interview will be able to identify many actions we could take on a local level — actions that members of the planning team would not necessarily know about because they aren’t in that leader’s business.
Our intent is to interview local people and organizations in a number of domains. Perhaps they sell gasoline and heating fuels, electricity, natural gas, cars and trucks, powered machinery, agricultural products, forest products, heating systems for buildings and homes, and other consumer goods. Or they may provide healthcare, education, transportation and government services; build and maintain homes and other buildings; manage multifamily dwellings or own rental properties; among other domains.
The eventual Climate Action Plan (CAP), expected to be complete by the end of the calendar year, will identify steps that can realistically be taken locally to reduce climate pollution while moving toward a long-term sustainable local economy. The planning process will identify existing and future business and “green jobs” opportunities. Individuals, businesses, organizations and institutions will have defined roles in the plan. The CAP will help guide and coordinate the actions of community sectors including education, agriculture, business, industry, local and state government, nonprofits, and major institutions such as Middlebury College and Porter Hospital.
CEAC will be assisted in some of this work by a Minnesota-based consultant company called paleBLUEDot, which has already helped about 50 communities develop Climate Action Plans.