Climate Change and Local Warming
Scientists estimate that Atlanta is the 19th fastest warming city in the country. District 5 will continue to become even more vulnerable to rising temperatures including extreme heat that will undoubtedly effect our health, vegetation, quality of life and economy. Between 1980 and 2015, the City's average temperature, as reported by the Climate Realty Project, rose nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not sound like much but according to climate change experts that's a big deal. It's projected to rise by another 2 degrees by the year 2050.
So what should we do about it?. As a city, we were recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project for taking steps to help reduce greenhouse gases of our carbon footprint and then the pandemic came along. The silver lining is that the forced isolation was a tremendous boost to our neighborhoods as our broader community got cleaner and greener. Air pollution (smog index) decreased and water quality improved. With data showing results more quickly than ever imagined before the pandemic, we now have an opportunity to re-examine steps already taken in the Climate Action Plan and create a chance to do even better.
- Develop clear metrics to ensure that a new Tree Protection Ordinance is actually protecting our priority trees while also increasing our canopy. Our tree coverage, which captures carbon and slows warming, is so vital to our air quality and health.
- As the City of South Fulton has done, outlaw single use plastic bags and straws. These are mostly the bags we get at grocers, dry cleaners and drug stores and it has been proven that at every stage of their lifecycle they are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Continue to expand our city's use of renewable energies. We have started and must continue to invest in fleets away from fossil fuels that instead run off alternatives like electricity and other alternative fuels.