New Orleans Climate Plan Calls for Reducing Waste, Using More Clean Fuels

"In New Orleans, we face a triple threat: subsidence, coastal erosion, and sea level rise. This strategy will help us transition to a low-carbon economy that not only helps manage our climate risk, but also creates new businesses, jobs, and wealth," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu unveiled the city's climate action strategy this month, a document that begins by warning that seas are rising and hot days are increasing, and then explains how the city plans to reduce its climate image. The "Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans" report is a strategic roadmap for the city, proposing 11 strategies and 25 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030.

Landrieu signed an executive order at the announcement to adopt Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans as guiding policy and to commit to the principles and goals of the Paris Agreement.

"Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our coastal communities, nation, and world," he said. "In New Orleans, we face a triple threat: subsidence, coastal erosion, and sea level rise. If unchecked, New Orleans, like many coastal cities, will be forced to retreat. This strategy will help us transition to a low-carbon economy that not only helps manage our climate risk, but also creates new businesses, jobs, and wealth."

The plan builds on actions the city already has taken, according to the mayor, including in July 2015, when Landrieu joined a group of mayors, local governors, and representatives of the United Nations for a two-day summit at the Vatican to discuss solutions to global issues including climate change. He also signed the Global Covenant of Mayors on Climate and Energy.

The development of the document was called for in the city's resilience strategy, "Resilient New Orleans."

The document is focused on four goals to lower the city's carbon emissions 50 percent by 2030:

  • Modernizing its energy use by increasing the use of low-carbon, clean fuels, making its energy savings a sustainable resource; and increasing the resilience of its energy infrastructure
  • Improving its transportation choices by transforming the city's infrastructure to reduce car dependence, encouraging active transportation, and increasing fuel efficiency
  • Reducing waste via development of recycling and composting initiatives and by generating value from the city's waste
  • Creating a culture of awareness and action by growing the low-carbon economy, enabling data-driven decision making, and connecting the city's culture to climate action
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