Anchorage mayor to launch Climate Action Plan tonight

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Municipality of Anchorage will hold a Climate Action Plan (CAP) community kickoff Tuesday evening as part of an effort to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The call for community members to engage on climate change comes only days after the United Nations released a stark report on the projected impacts of climate change and what needs to happen to avoid its worst effects.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that it is possible to limit warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit but to achieve that goal there could be as little as 12 years to cut emissions by 45 percent.

Muni officials point to a number of impacts that climate change could bring to Anchorage including increased risk of wildfires, less predictable salmon returns, increased invasive pests, like spruce bark beetles, and icier roads.

Research by the city found that a majority of emissions in Anchorage come from highway motor fuels (53 percent), natural gas for heating (35 percent) and electricity (12 percent).

Across Anchorage, efforts are already underway to cut down on emissions, city workers have been busy installing LED street lights, a move that’s expected to save $1 million dollars annually.

Combating climate change at a city level has become increasingly popular across the country, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz was part of a group of 407 mayors who signed a pledge to fulfill the obligations of the Paris Climate Change Agreement in 2017 after President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement.

The development of CAP is funded in part by the University of Alaska Anchorage and is to be approved by the Anchorage Assembly. A finalized plan is expected to be sent to the Anchorage Assembly in early 2019.

The Mayor’s Climate Action Plan community kickoff will be held at the Loussac Library, Tuesday, Oct. 09, at 6 p.m.

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