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Help set NEO climate action agenda

Marc Lefkowitz  |  09/30/08 @ 9:50am

Chicago released a comprehensive climate action plan with the goal of sharply reducing the city's carbon dioxide emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

"People think in terms of polar ice caps and rising ocean levels, but this takes a look at what would happen to a Midwestern city like Chicago if nothing is done," said Ron Burke, with the Union of Concerned Scientists, which helped construct the plan.

This was the first time a major American city has produced models that show the local effects of climate change. The plan includes implementing renewable energy technologies, energy efficient buildings, improved transportation and reducing industrial pollution. The city is also asking residents and businesses to reduce their own emissions by making 13 changes listed on chicagoclimateaction.org, which include adjusting thermostats and replacing light bulbs.

"We can't solve the world's climate change problem in Chicago, but we can do our part," said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. "We have a shared responsibility to protect our planet."

Now, consider the climate change impacts to Northeast Ohio and our effort to measure the region's carbon footprint. Consider the ideas we set forth for transitioning away from a fossil fuel dependent society.

If you were to invest the resources of business, private citizens and city government, what target would you set for reducing our carbon emissions? How would you get there-what green strategies would top your agenda?

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