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Spokane City Council approves new climate change action plan

Screenshot from City Cable 5

The Spokane City Council on Monday night approved a new plan to combat climate change locally. The proposal updates the city’s sustainability plan from 2009, using new information about climate change.

Proponents say the planwill require the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to meet state goals, among other things.The vote was six-to-one with Councilwoman Karen Stratton in the majority.

“I have great concerns if we don’t do something now, if we don’t work together to get changes in progress to make changes and really look at this issue as involving all of us, no matter what our politics are, no matter where we come from. It’s a human issue to me. It’s not a political issue," she said.

The lone vote against came from Councilman Michael Cathcart.

“I worry a lot about us putting a lot of policies in place that have the potential for leaving us in a competitive disadvantage with regards to our region, our neighbors, the country," he said.

Supporters say the plan has been developed over the last two-and-a-half years with plenty of opportunities for the public to offer ideas and comments. City officials say they solicited input from community experts, nonprofit organizations, higher education, energy experts and others.

The city lists the plan’s overarching goals as:
    ◦    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with state mandates
    ◦    Creating resiliency in our communities to prepare for future challenges
    ◦    Prioritizing action in communities most at risk from climate change and an energy transition