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Mayor Keller Celebrates Earth Day by Introducing Climate Action Plan

Roadmap of 50 meaningful strategies for sustainable action to combat climate change

Mayor Tim Keller held a briefing today to announce the City’s new 2021 Climate Action Plan. Over the past 10 months, 19 community members serving on the Albuquerque Climate Action Task Force deliberated on community sustainability priorities identified by over 3,000 residents in the Albuquerque Climate Survey released in summer 2020. After consulting experts in the field, uplifting priorities from their neighborhoods and considering 600 public comments, task force members have finalized 50 strategies for the 2021 Albuquerque Climate Action Plan.

Throughout the process, multiple task force members spoke to the hardships of living in poverty that can make climate action feel so out of reach. One task force member shared how her family couldn’t always cover the utility bills to keep the lights on, another shared how being asked to recycle felt out of touch to people who are struggling from pay check to paycheck. These stories highlighted the importance of taking action to change systems and invest in opportunities to both protect communities already vulnerable to climate change, and to create access for all residents to receive the benefits of climate action.

The Climate Plan’s 50 strategies cover the topics of sustainable buildings, renewable energy, clean transportation, recycling and waste, economic development, and climate conscious neighborhoods and resources. Together, the updated 2021 strategies present focused, actionable pathways to fulfilling a vision of a more sustainable and equitable Albuquerque with opportunities for engagement for all members of the greater community. In all cases, these strategies are coupled with metrics, which will be used by the Sustainability Office to guide the trajectory of future climate action, as well as to assess Albuquerque’s progress towards greenhouse gas mitigation and climate justice in future years.

“This is the first time in over a decade that Albuquerque has had a new Climate Action Plan, and it’s now more urgent than ever,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We need to do all that we can to protect our home for current and future generations. This plan is driven by community input and centers equity to provide a roadmap of fifty meaningful strategies to support our communities and to achieve a more sustainable future.”

“It’s been incredible for everyone involved throughout the climate planning process to learn from one another and create new connections throughout the community on these important issues of equity and sustainability,” said Sustainability Officer Kelsey Rader. “Having a broad number of strategies to create momentum in preparing for and fighting against climate change will help to improve our health, economic stability and quality of life in the coming years.”

"Through outreach, civic engagement and leadership we have collectively contributed to the climate action plan as a sustainable pathway forward that is inclusive, addresses equity and communities of color who are most likely to be effected by climate change impacts,” said Task Force member, Theresa Cardenas.

Following the Climate Plan’s release, the Plan will now be introduced for adoption by City Council. Additionally, the Sustainability Office will initiate collaboration across City departments, utilities, community organizations and others to engage and amplify mobilization and communication on the plan’s strategies. To maintain the plan’s community-rootedness, the Sustainability Office will host quarterly community meetings to provide updates and gather input regarding CAP implementation. Finally, the Office will complete yearly, follow-up reporting on Albuquerque’s progress towards these strategies.

View the plan and the sustainability priorities at https://www.cabq.gov/sustainability/climate-action-plan and to stay up to date with implementation and updates by following the Environmental Health Department on all social media platforms @CABQEHD.