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New Haven Announces New Steps To Combat Climate Change

Lori Mack
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp announced efforts on Thursday to sustain the city’s commitment to the environment. 

Harp said her staff has been working with advocates and community members for the past 10 months to update the city’s climate plan. She announced two initiatives. The first includes joining a compact of mayors in more than 600 cities worldwide pledging to take action on climate change.

“As a part of this compact, New Haven will measure emissions using standardized reporting tools,” Harp said. "It will identify climate hazards, set greenhouse gas reduction targets, assess climate vulnerabilities, and develop a climate action plan and a climate adaptation plan all within the next three years.”

The second initiative calls for community support. New Haven will hold three public participation sessions at different locations. City representatives want to hear from community members about what the city’s priorities and goals should be. 

There was no mention of President Donald Trump’s vow to eliminate climate change policies put in place by the Obama administration until Harp was asked about her reaction to a possible freeze on future funding by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

“We just have to think about the past two weeks and how warm it’s been in January to know that there are problems and yes -- we need federal support,” Harp said. "I’m frankly very disappointed that we don’t know what that means. We’re hoping that they will begin to release grants soon and make opportunities for other grants. But we don’t know and that’s unfortunate.”

New Haven’s first public meeting is scheduled for February 7.

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