The City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee will discuss embarking on a collaborative climate action planning process with the City of South Portland tomorrow night, and will consider recommending an ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. The goal of this process will be to develop climate action and adaptation plans for both cities based on a joint vision of deep carbon reduction. The Committee will meet at 6:00 PM on Thursday, February 15 in Council Chambers.
Development of the climate action and adaptation plans for both cities would take place over the next 18 months. Each city is proposing to pay $110,000. Pending budget approval, the cities will recruit a qualified consultant to assist with the facilitation of community and stakeholder meetings, perform technical analysis, and to draft the final plans.
“The Committee looks forward to discussing this issue on Thursday night and I hope that the public will join us,” said Councilor Spencer Thibodeau, Chair of the Sustainability and Transportation Committee. “I think this process will allow us to address climate change from a more regional perspective, and I’m excited about the prospect of what the two cities can accomplish together.”
Portland City Manager Jon Jennings recently met with South Portland City Manager Scott Morelli to discuss the collaboration. Both managers agreed that it makes a lot of sense to work together to minimize costs by sharing a consultant, and to help align plans to achieve the CO2 reduction goals that both City Council’s have established.
The Portland and South Portland City Councils have signed onto the Mayors Climate Agenda, which pledges that each city will take actions to comply with the the Paris Accords. Leading cities see this as reducing CO2 emissions 80% by 2050. By signing the agreement each city has pledged to these actions:
1. Developing a community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions inventory
2. Setting near-and long-term targets to reduce emissions
3. Developing a Climate Action Plan aligned with the City's targets.
The Portland City Council passed a resolution stating a commitment that the City of Portland will run on 100% renewable power by 2040.
Community Greenhouse Gas Inventories:
In order to understand the amount of energy used by residents, businesses, and industry, the cities would work with GridSolar to develop a detailed map documenting the energy use in each city. This company most recently conducted a project on the Boothbay Peninsula to meet the energy needs of the businesses and residents there without the installation of new power lines.
Their mapping exercise will provide essential data that will help determine the best ways to curb emissions and the best locations to deploy renewable energy including solar, renewable thermal technologies, and micro-grids.
“It will be very important to engage the residents of Portland and South Portland in this planning process,” said Troy Moon, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Portland. “Reducing our collective greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero will require us to look at our daily activities and figure out how to do them with less energy and fewer resources. It will take the creativity of the whole community to figure this out.”