City Makes Climate Action a Priority through Creation of the Climate Action Task Force
On Aug. 25, Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales announced the members of his newly formed Climate Action Task Force (CATF) at Growing Santa Fe Green, a community forum about climate change hosted by Santa Fe Forward, a local nonprofit organization (www.SantaFeForward.com). The event gave Santa Fe residents an opportunity to discuss concerns and give the mayor feedback on environmental issues important to them.
The CATF is comprised of environmental and clean-energy experts, as well as representatives from the business community (see sidebar). They will provide counsel to the mayor on programs, policies and ideas the city should undertake to improve Santa Fe’s environment and long-term sustainability. The CATF is co-chaired by Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives and former Mayor David Coss.
“The people of Santa Fe are dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint and improving the quality of life for future generations,” Mayor Gonzales said. “The CATF will help ensure that Santa Fe has a plan in place to address the challenges of climate change faced by our community. Santa Fe is ready to take the lead on climate change and become an example to the rest of the country by showing that community involvement can lead to sensible solutions.”
The CATF will have support from the city’s Sustainable Santa Fe Commission (www.santafenm.gov/sustainable_santa_fe), a volunteer group that has been very active with climate-mitigation work across the city. The SSFC is dedicated to implementing the goals of the city’s Sustainable Santa Fe Plan. In October, the commission is expected to release a sustainability progress-tracking tool that contains data related to Santa Fe’s climate, environment, water and sustainability standings for the last several years. The tracking tool will serve to inform the task force and its working groups as they begin to prioritize ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change in Santa Fe.
“We are excited that the city is demonstrating its commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation by mobilizing the necessary expertise and leadership to move this work forward at the rate that the current climate crisis necessitates,” said SSFC Chair Bianca Sopoci-Belknap. “We expect that the Task Force will be able to leverage the political and community support necessary to implement the kind of aggressive programs we need to protect the community, build our resilience, and become a leader in the climate movement. We look forward to supporting the work of the Task Force and are happy to be providing the baseline information that will allow the city to set targets and track progress year after year to ensure that we meet our emissions-reduction and environmental-stewardship goals.”
If you would like to observe a Climate Change Task Force Meeting, contact John Alejandro, city of Santa Fe Renewable Energy Planner. To participate in the SSFC, you can attend the commission’s monthly meeting on the third Tuesday of every month from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Council Conference Room in City Hall.