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Mayor Keller Releases Results of Climate Action Plan Survey and Climate Task Force

Residents help shape City’s fight against climate change

In the first step of an extensive public outreach effort to engage residents in helping shape the future of the City’s important fight against climate change and its effects, the City of Albuquerque received over 3,100 responses to its Climate Action Plan Survey, from residents in over 200 neighborhoods. Survey results give insight to one of the most important issues facing our community: climate change. Results also help the City understand resident’s attitudes, beliefs, and personal experiences with sustainability projects.

“We’re keeping equity and environmental justice in the driver’s seat in our fight against climate change,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “It’s our responsibility to listen to the community’s real day to day experiences as we build a cleaner, healthier future for all Burqueños.”

Survey responses will directly inform the priorities and content of the Climate Action Plan on issues such as clean transportation, sustainable buildings, renewable energy, and recycling. A report with in-depth survey findings will be released late October by nonpartisan policy nonprofit New Mexico First.

Top findings of the surveys show that residents strongly support:

  • More trees and vegetation in neighborhoods,
  • Safer, more bike and pedestrian-friendly streets,
  • More residential solar,
  • Expansion of existing green spaces and trails to allow for more time spent outside, and
  • Energy efficiency upgrades and rebates to reduce spending on utility bills.

Over half of survey respondents are optimistic that individual action can have an impact on climate change.

The City has selected task force members to create the initial draft of the Climate Action Plan based on these results and other factors. Task Force members were selected through an open application process over a six-week period. Over the next several months they will work with facilitators, experts, and City staff to develop a plan that will direct action to fight and adapt to climate changes. Task Force members include: Theresa Cardenas, Molly Blumhoefer, Helga Garza, Erica Velarde, Solana Granados, Chas Robles, Virginia Necochea, Kevin Bean, Karen Lemming, Amy Carpenter, Genesis Arizmendi, Emily Phan, Josue de Luna Navarro, Cassandra Miller, Alex Montano, Tara Trafton, Daniel Beaman, Sharon Hausam, and Chief Marcus Burnett (USAF).

Helga Garza, Executive Director Agri-Cultura network, a cooperative of 38 small scale farmers developing a local and regional sustainable and regenerative food system, said, “Soil health and climate change are our top priority of concern along with water stability. That will regulate the future of what we are doing collectively as a community to be a state that is food secure. So we are in gratitude of being a community voice within this task force and take this opportunity with the utmost respect for the future of our food system.”

The Climate Planning initiative will update a plan that is more than a decade old, in response to Council Resolution R 19-187: Declaring a Climate Emergency, passed in September 2019. The Climate Action Plan will build on the Keller administration’s substantial work to date on sustainability, including:

  • Won a $2.7 million federal grant to bring the first electric buses to Albuquerque,
  • Signed the Paris Agreement committing to climate action,
  • Installed solar projects at 38 city-owned buildings,
  • Received funding to increase electric charging stations in Albuquerque to 40 by 2021,
  • Launched the Green Team Initiative to expand sustainability across departments,
  • Launched the Mayor’s Energy Challenge,
  • Won Bloomberg American Cities climate challenge with funding for sustainability efforts,
  • Made the transition to more sustainable LED street lights citywide,
  • Provided over 100 homes with free energy audits and upgrades in partnership with PNM and Prosperity Works,
  • Invested $600,000 in VW settlement funding to expand electric vehicle infrastructure,
  • Partnered with PNM to launch the Solar Direct project to get to 85% renewable energy portfolio by 2021, and
  • Purchased the first Electric Vehicles for the City fleet, and committed the City to replacing gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles wherever possible.

Task Force meetings will be accessible to the public and posted online. The Climate Action Plan draft will be available for public comment in Winter 2020 and will be released in late Spring 2021.