In 2013, the City of Cleveland led a year-long process to develop the Cleveland Climate Action Plan (CAP), which outlined 33 actions to move our city towards emissions reductions and more climate resilience through measures in six focus areas. In 2017, in accordance with the commitment to update the CAP every four years, the Office of Sustainability has focused on doing just that, however, with a different approach.
Plans, policies, and programs related to climate change, like any other issue, mirror the perspectives of those who play the largest parts in their creation. Whether those perspectives are implicit (implied; subconscious; unintended) or explicit (direct; conscious; intended) matters a great deal when determining how outcomes will burden or benefit certain people and how subsequent efforts will be shaped. An increased understanding of this requires a new lens to effective and comprehensive climate planning. That lens is equity.
Together with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and their partners at the Racial Equity Institute, Brendle Group, and ioby, the City of Cleveland will engage 50+ stakeholders to form the Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC). The CAAC will work collaboratively over the course of a year to apply an equity lens to the CAP update process.
Furthermore, the updated CAP will also welcome exploration of opportunities for climate resilience at the neighborhood level, green jobs creation and the extent to which private companies in Cleveland practice environmental, social and governance(ESG) policies.
For more on city resources to make equity front and center in sustainability work, read about the USDN Equity Leaders program and watch some of the videos City Staff are accessing. And stay tuned for more on the CAP update.