The city of Kingston has released a call for action with their current state of protocols in place regarding climate change. Their new Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2030, is a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by the year 2030.
Julie Noble, Kingston’s Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator spoke about this new plan and how it will affect Kingston. During a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16 she told the Common Council’s Laws and Rules Committee that CAP 2030 was developed with funding through the NoVo Foundation and with the assistance of the group Citizens for Local Power.
CAP 2030 has been discussed among communities to allow for support from all individuals in the surrounding areas. The leaders are invested in a more sustainable future, and the process of developing CAP is an opportunity for the community to provide an input in the progress.
In 2012, a Climate Action Plan was put into place and was very operations-based, not allowing for much input from the community. Additionally, their original plan, CAP 2012 included changing all lightbulbs to LEDs, which was slightly unattainable.
The plan for CAP 2030 began in late 2020, when the city partnered with Citizens for Local Power, a local nonprofit energy educator. They provided the community with their ideas for CAP 2030, as well as allowed for suggestions and further ideas.
“This new plan, we wanted to build a broader program,” Noble stated. Her goal is to have a community-wide program that is truly transformative. She states how the plan will only work if the community shows their involvement and takes appropriate actions to help achieve the goals, so incentives will be in place to encourage people to participate.
A full draft of the plan is available on the City of Kingston New York’s website, which outlines the next steps in place for CAP 2030. Community members had an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft plan during an announced comment period, as well as during two public meetings that occured on Monday, Nov. 8.
The drafted plan is over 100 pages long and outlines each aspect of the community and what is expected to occur. Major goals include: decarbonized buildings, sustainable mobility and land use and managing resources sustainably. Each goal has a detailed description, as well as a few pages outlining the next steps for the plan.
A survey was conducted regarding thoughts on this plan, and the results can be found on the website as well. In addition, a video recording of the CAP 2030 kick-off meeting that took place on Jan. 14 is available for viewing. Consultants from Cadmus presented findings from their months of copious research.
Alderman Reynolds Scott-Childress, a D-Ward 3, discussed his concerns about CAP 2030’s draft and whether the city reached out to people of color or low-income individuals specifically because they have historically been ignored in environmental initiatives. He explained, “I’m just concerned that as we develop these goals that we might want to consider an even more inclusive process than what was followed here.”
Noble then explained how the city has spent more than 18 months reaching out to residents, even going as far to send information to each home about a survey they could fill out to help shape the plan. In addition, the city has worked with more than 30 organizations that allow a diverse range of community members at meetings and providing opinions.
The committee has endorsed a resolution to adopt the CAP 2030 as an official city policy, per Noble’s request. The only vote against the resolution was made by committee member Scott-Childress. Next month, the full council will discuss the resolution and the final decision will be made. The plan is available for viewing at https://engagekingston.com/climate-action-plan. The community and City of Kingston need your opinions and support to put the Climate Action Plan 2030 into full effect and be successful.