Climate goals off track, but task force to tackle issues

Cara Pratt speaks at the April 25 City Council meeting. Credit: City of Evanston Youtube channel Credit: City of Evanston Youtube channel

Evanston is falling behind on its climate goals, but a task force dedicated to helping the city implement its Climate Action and Resilience Plan, or CARP, will meet at 4 pm Wednesday to help the city catch up.

During the virtual meeting, the CARP Implementation Task Force, which is a working group within the city’s Environment Board, will discuss plans that Evanston’s Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator Cara Pratt presented at a City Council meeting last week about the state of the city’s benchmarks.

The city passed the plan four years ago, and to this day, only nine other Illinois municipalities have implemented a climate action plan, according to data by educational nonprofit Zero Energy Project. Its goal is to create a “climate-ready and resilient city” by 2050, but Pratt told Evanston officials that the city is not on track to meet all of its CARP goals.

For instance, the city is neither on track to reach carbon neutrality for municipal operations by 2035 nor will it hit zero waste for municipal operations by 2030.

Still, Pratt, the only city staffer in her department, said she has a tentative plan to help put things back on track.

Her CARP Implementation Update was presented at the April 25 City Council meeting.

“The urgency for action on climate action is growing,” said Pratt then. Yet, she said the city government is still well-positioned to implement creative climate legislation that has a tangible impact on the community.

She shared a roadmap for implementing the new plan over the next three years. Pratt also provided an overview of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, which she said are down by 35% since 2005.

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