Iowa City pledges to climate action

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Iowa City community members listen to city officials to learn about how to live a more climate-friendly life. (Katelyn Weisbrod)

Katelyn Weisbrod | July 12, 2018

At least 100 members of the Iowa City community committed to actions to help mitigate and adapt to climate change.

In an effort to increase participation in climate-friendly behaviors, Iowa City held a meeting for community members to come together to discuss solutions, both at the individual and societal level.

Five areas of action showed the diverse potential to make change:

  • Buildings in terms of energy efficiency, conversion of natural gas to electric, and on-site renewable energy
  • Transportation in terms of improvements to mass transit, and enabling walking and cycling, including a future bike share program
  • Waste in terms of increasing recycling and composting, reusing items, and reducing consumption
  • Adaptation in terms of resilience to disaster and outreach and education to vulnerable populations
  • Sustainable lifestyle in terms of diet and purchasing habits

This meeting was another step toward a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, which the city decided to pursue to continue the Paris Accord, an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases. The Obama Administration committed to the Paris Accord in 2016, but the Trump Administration announced plans to withdraw in 2017.

Attendees learned about steps they can take in their own lives to help combat climate change. Many participants signed a climate pledge promising to take specific actions addressed by the five areas of action.

At the end of the event, Martha Norbeck, a member of the Iowa City Climate Action Steering committee, reminded everyone that changes must continue to be made to make a difference.

“Whatever you’re doing, you can do more,” she said.

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