Louisville Residents Ask Mayor Fischer For Action On Climate Change
A loose coalition of Louisville residents is hand-delivering letters in an effort to pressure city leaders to take further action on climate change.
In the letters, the group asks Mayor Greg Fischer to reduce the city’s dependency on fossil fuels, and transform the region’s transportation system and land use.
Activist and Urban Ecology Expert Margaret Carreiro delivered January's letter to a representative from the Louisville Office of Sustainability on Tuesday.
“We want [Fischer] to know that there is a dedicated group of concerned citizens that want to keep reminding him that we need to be taking steps and action,” Carreiro said.
Last month, Louisville announced a plan aiming to cut emissions 80 percent citywide by 2050. That target is part of a Compact of Mayors that Fischer signed in 2016, agreeing to assess and address the city's greenhouse gas emissions.
A 2018 inventory found Louisville decreased greenhouse gas emissions by about 10 percent between 2010 and 2016. However, a significant part of that decrease came from Louisville Gas & Electric's decision to close the coal-fired power plant at Cane Run Generating Station and instead open a natural gas plant.
Even with the decrease in emissions, Louisville emits more carbon than the U.S. national average, according to the inventory.
The city is now conducting a survey to gauge public interest on a variety of options to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Fischer's goal is far less ambitious than a resolution that was introduced to Louisville Metro Council, asking the city to become 100 percent renewable by 2035.
The latest science from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change says the world has just 12 years to drastically reduce its reliance on fossil fuels to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
Even the U.S. Department of Defense released a report this month warning that climate change is a national security issue with potential impacts on military sites and operations.
Climate change in the coming decades is likely to increase temperatures and weather variability in Kentucky, impacting everything from crop yields to forests to waterways.
Environmental activist Jackie Green said reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 is much too late.
“We are asking the mayor to focus on actually doing something to minimize climate change rather than simply mitigate climate change,” he said.
The city did not immediately return attempts for comment.
Green said activists will continue to hand deliver a letter on the 22nd of every month until Earth Day in April.
Read December's full letter below: