A resolution to develop a climate action plan in the Fairbanks North Star Borough will be introduced to the borough assembly on July 25 by members Marna Sanford and Leah Berman Williams. A similar plan was approved by the Anchorage City Council in May.
The resolution asks the Borough to assemble a task force and create a plan specifying how the Borough can prepare for local impacts of climate change, such as increasing temperatures, wildfires, and damage to infrastructure due to deteriorating permafrost.
“This resolution is an important first step for ensuring that our community can adequately respond to the impacts of climate change that we are experiencing with each passing season,” explained Assemblywoman Sanford. “We haven’t had a recent effort to assess our risks and develop an understanding and a plan of action of how the Borough can lead by example for other businesses and residents.”
The task force would also find ways to reduce local contributions to climate change, such as through incentives to increase energy efficiency, introducing more renewable energy sources, and supporting job training in renewables like those that have been implemented in other towns. The resolution describes ways that a climate plan may benefit local residents in the process through stabilizing energy prices, creating jobs, and improving air quality and health.
Fairbanks residents began drafting the resolution in March, led by the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition. Input was gathered at several community events, and to date, the plan has been endorsed by several community organizations, including labor, tribal organizations, faith groups, environmental associations, and others.
“A Joint Climate Change Task Force will give the Borough an opportunity to collaborate with community leaders and local experts to develop a Climate Action Plan that provides guidance for the community as a whole, rather than focusing only on the limited powers provided to the Borough. It will also provide a venue to synthesize prior work on climate change done by the Borough and community,” said Assemblywoman Berman Williams.
If the resolution is passed, the borough is to convene the first task force meeting no later than November 15th, 2019.
Read the resolution online: http://fairbanksclimateaction.org/s/Williams-and-Sanford-Climate-Action-Plan.pdf
© 2019, ↑ Alaska Native News
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