Hartford hopes to improve public health, advance its economy and promote social equity through its adoption of a new Climate Action Plan.
The Climate Action Plan was shaped by those three values, according to the Hartford Climate Stewardship Initiative website. It focuses on six “Action Areas”: energy, food, landscape, transportation, waste and water, the website says.
The Plan’s efforts to improve Hartford’s public health include identifying and cleaning up hazardous brownfield sites and homes with asbestos and lead-based paint, promoting clean energy vehicles, increasing reliance on renewable energy and making park and river trails more accessible to residents.
“A coordinated approach required by existing and future climate change can at the same time allow for progress toward improving the health of all Hartford residents,” the official Climate Action Plan document says.
The Plan also discusses an increase in green jobs for Hartford residents and a focus on social equity, allowing low-income households and people of color to be engaged.
“In cities across the United States and around the world, low-income communities of color are disproportionately exposed to polluted air, water and soil, layering additional injustices upon challenges faced by vulnerable families,” the Plan says. “We can do better. Addressing climate change will improve the lives of the residents of Hartford and promote equity across the city.”
The Plan hopes to use sustainability work as a vehicle for social change by strategically targeting projects and initiatives that allow Hartford to reach improvements in education, green jobs and neighborhood revitalization.
“We have tried to ensure that the strategies laid out in this Climate Action Plan benefit Hartford residents most,” the Plan says. “At the same time, this Plan anticipates many actions that have benefits to the broader community beyond our city limits.”
The Plan’s official document says it provides a starting point for collective action by presenting a roadmap for Hartford to become a global leader in environmental stewardship.
“It will help us stop harming our planet and start adapting to changes already occurring, so that we can shape a more healthy, vibrant and resilient city,” the document says.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, along with other city leaders, community members and members of Hartford’s Climate Stewardship Council, marked the city’s adoption of the Climate Action Plan on Jan 30.
“I am proud that Hartford is one of the first cities in Connecticut to put forth a bold, comprehensive Climate Action Plan that will respond to the twin problems of climate change and environmental degradation,” Bronin said in the plan’s official document. “I truly believe that each of us, working together to achieve the goals in this Plan, can strengthen Hartford’s environment and economy- while making our community healthier and more equitable.”
The full Climate Action Plan can be found at https://hartfordclimate.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/cap1.pdf.
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.