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City of Tucson declares climate emergency

Plan to reduce the city’s environmental impact
Posted at 7:27 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 11:37:19-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - It’s a plan to change how the City of Tucson operates in the name of saving the planet. The Tucson City Council has declared a climate emergency and approved a plan to reduce Tucson’s impact on the climate.

Climate scientists say massive wildfires like the Bighorn Fire, and more frequent, more powerful hurricanes are already proof the climate has changed and time’s running out for humans to have a chance to reverse the trends.

Mayor Regina Romero says that’s why Tucson has joined 1,700 other cities in declaring a climate emergency and committing to plans to reduce the city’s environmental footprint.

She says this is a priority like providing roads, police and fire protection, and is a valid use of city money because she says not addressing climate change costs money too.

“And so I would invite people to take a look at their electric bills. And many people complain of the $450 bill that they received in August the hottest month on record in the city of Tucson.”

The plan calls for steps like reliance on clean energy, converting city vehicles like SunTran buses to clean electric propulsion, adapting building patterns to reduce urban sprawl that makes it harder to use mass transit, and planting many more trees to pull more carbon out of the air.

Other parts of the plan call for conserving water and capturing rainwater, and reducing waste.

The Mayor says living up to the plan should build business and jobs.

“And it is also about the infrastructure and the job creation and the job training that we have to focus on to make sure that it's a good positive economic impact into not just Tucson in Arizona, but our country.”

The city’s working on a plan to help make the changes happen. It should be ready in a year to a year and a half.