We are honored to have been chosen to host the city's announcement of the 2022 Climate Action Plan on Earth Day. It was great to see so many local environmental leaders in attendance. And in a fun turn of events, the Mayor also got the chance to meet a group of students from Altgeld Gardens doing a hands on native pollinators workshop at the firehouse that day!
Why is a climate plan important? Simply put, without actual goals and some outline of how to get there, no progress can be made. According to the UN, cities consume 78% of the worlds energy and produce 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cities like Chicago can and must lead the way.
Chicago is no stranger to plans and this is not the first climate plan released by a mayor of Chicago. This plan is considered "dynamic," meaning it will remain an active document, which is critical. It's important to acknowledge that some goals need clarity or more aggressive targets (i.e. composting). With time, a dynamic plan can and should be updated based on on-the-ground learnings.
So here are my hopes:
May this plan only collect coffee stains, pen marks, and continued updates; not dust. May the Mayor and her team continue to engage those organizations that have contributed to this plan and more organizations working on the frontlines of climate and equity work in this city. And for those of us that will contribute: May we work to hold the Mayor accountable for the pledges being made here in this plan. And by accountability, I don’t mean that we complain when we feel like progress isn’t fast enough, but that we actively engage when appropriate and live the values and vision of this document in our own lives.
- Jonathan Pereira, Executive Director