Environmental Sustainability and Working Toward a Green Transition

GOAL:

Develop and implement a Sustainability Plan that will strengthen our area’s habitat, prepare us to adapt to coming climate impacts, build a green economy, and put us on a path to reach 100% renewable energy by 2035 (if not sooner).

The climate crisis is real, and each year, its impacts increase. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned us that we only have about ten years to transform our energy systems if we have any chance of averting catastrophic droughts, floods, fires, shifting season patterns, a collapse of agriculture, extreme weather, loss of biodiversity, the decimation of ocean life, and, of course, the suffering and deaths of millions (if not billions) of people.

If you think I’m being alarmist, I am only listening to the scientists’ predictions. And so far, they have only been wrong in underestimating the devastating impacts of the climate crisis and the velocity at which it is accelerating.

As a mother, I’m scared for my kids’ futures. For our children and grandchildren, it is imperative that we act now to fight climate change.

Until national governments around the world step up, cities and states must lead the way and demonstrate what’s possible. Already, more than 50 cities in the United States are at 100% renewable energy, and right here in Ohio, Columbus is about to join them. On top of that, hundreds of cities across the United States, including four right here in Ohio, have developed climate and sustainability plans to:

  • transition to 100% clean energy,
  • increase native biodiversity to maximize carbon capture,
  • prepare for climate change impacts,
  • build a stronger and more resilient green economy, and
  • make their communities more livable for all.

Cleveland Heights must join them. We will be leaders, not followers. We have the vision, the spirit of innovation, and the will to show not just other cities but also our national government how to ensure that future generations inherit a habitable planet. This is not just an existential necessity—it will also herald in a more prosperous and equitable society for those who follow us on this earth.

How I Will Support Environmental Sustainability

I will work to create a citizen Sustainability Committee, with the goal that it is led by a Sustainability Officer employed by Cleveland Heights, to develop a Sustainability Plan that is feasible, affordable, and beneficial to Cleveland Heights residents. This plan must prioritize equity for minority and lower-income communities, and it will range from both small, simple programs, such as pollinator pathways and community gardens, to larger, long-term initiatives, such as getting Cleveland Heights to 100% renewable energy by 2035—if not sooner.