A Climate Action Plan is a strategic framework for reducing carbon pollution and mitigating climate change to sustain our community into the future.
City of Charleston Director of Sustainability, Katie McKain, said, “Charlestonians have seen firsthand the very real impacts of climate change, such as flooding from increased and more frequent rainfall events. While implementing adaptation initiatives is important, we must also strive to address the root cause of the challenge and consider action items that actually mitigate climate change.”
Climate Action Plan activities will take place in three distinct phases:
Phase 1: Understanding Community Priorities. A multi-faceted outreach and engagement effort to identify priorities of community members on the frontlines of climate change and obtain feedback on those priorities from the broader community is underway. Data from a recently released greenhouse gas inventory for fiscal year 2018 will also be used to inform the action plan. This effort includes virtual listening sessions and surveys to gain insight on community needs.
Phase 2: Strategy Development. During this phase, the office will work with residents, frontline community organizations, stakeholders, elected officials and technical experts to bring together community priorities and scientific data into strategies to support equitable initiatives. An action plan will be drafted and vetted thoroughly through the Resiliency and Sustainability Advisory Committee, based on recommendations from the newly created Climate Action Taskforce and multiple subcommittees. Engagement activities will focus on reviewing and refining the draft action plan to make sure the strategy is on the right path.
Phase 3: Adopt and Implement. In the last phase of the process, the action plan will be reviewed by City Council for final input and adoption. Engagement activities will focus on gathering final feedback and soliciting public comment during public hearings. After adoption, implementation will begin and progress on metrics will be tracked and reported on annually.
There are multiple ways to get involved and inform the Climate Action Plan. Citizens are invited to submit their feedback in any of the following forms:
- Complete Climate Action Plan Surveys online. The first survey is available online now: https://www.charleston-sc.gov/2468/Climate-Action-Survey
- Attend virtual public meetings to share input and ideas on potential government and individual actions. The first group meeting will be on November 5, from 6 to 7 p.m. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link to join. Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsdO6hrj0vHNCg3KpG15rQPel55qk3imgS
- Volunteer time and serve on a subcommittee focus group. For more information, please visit https://www.charleston-sc.gov/1972/Sustainability
The Climate Action Plan will complement the Flooding and Sea Level Rise Strategy, which together include both mitigation and adaption initiatives to support a more sustainable and resilient Charleston.