Chicago Updating its Climate Action Plan for 2022

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Earth Day announced the forthcoming release of a new plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare communities for the effects of climate change.

2 minute read

April 28, 2022, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

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JP Vielma / Shutterstock

The office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently launched a 2022 Climate Action Plan, promising “to reduce carbon emissions while also increasing household savings, advancing environmental justice, and improving community health.”

John Greenfield reports on the new climate action plan for the city of Chicago, first noting Mayor Lightfoot’s less-than-stellar record on climate change action: “Given that Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot recently called our multi-modal metropolis ‘a car city,’ and is currently advancing a plan to spend $7.5 million in taxpayer money on free gas cards, in effect paying people to create more greenhouse emissions, you could be forgiven for assuming that she doesn’t give a hoot about climate change."

As explained by Greenfield, Mayor Lightfoot’s a Climate Action Plan hasn’t actually been released in full, but the announcement was timed for Earth Day, so that explains the preemptory announcement. Plenty of work on the final plan has already taken place, however, including listening sessions, town halls, and a public comment period.

As reported by Greenfield, the 2022 Climate Action Plan will be built around five pillars: 1) lowering energy costs and implementing renewable energy for household consumption, 2) reducing waste, 3) creating a zero-emission transportation system, 4) committing to 100 percent clean energy for city operations by 2025 and for the entire city by 2035, and 5) investing in community resilience projects and implementing health and racial criteria in decision making.

The most obvious intersection with planning in that list is probably the zero-emission transportation system goal. Greenfield explains that the goal will include electrifying the city’s bus fleet and building 100 miles of upgraded bike ways in 2021 and 2022.

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