Kingston takes wraps off city 2030 climate action plan

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KINGSTON — City officials and environmental consultants unveiled the proposed Kingston Climate Action Plan 2030 during a virtual public hearing Thursday evening. 

The plan outlines Kingston’s aggressive and true to the city’s mission goals for sustainability.

The city has been initiating a number of green practices, ranging from large infrastructure projects like the Broadway Streetscapes and Henry Street projects that focus on reduction of motorized transport and greenspace additions, constantly upgrading municipal buildings to award-winning green status (currently the city has a silver Climate-Smart rating), improving public transportation and adding environmental educators to the city’s payroll. These actions are only a few of many green-friendly actions on the city’s part.

Before 2020, the city also formed the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, hired a climate analyst, created a climate-smart and green job task force, along with being designated as a clean energy community.

Mayor Steven Noble said this 2030 plan will further the city’s endeavor to become a leader in sustainability within the region.

“This process of creating a new climate action plan for the next 10 years will help us move the needle even further to be a resilient, sustainable community that takes into account climate change, sea-level rise and the energy use and how we obtain it and how we use it can do better,” said Noble.

The city’s 2030 action plan is very much in line with the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and rather than focusing primarily on mitigation, as the city’s previous plan had done, will now be focusing on preemptive measures.

This 2030 action plan has eight facets – outreach, education, land use, energy consumption evaluation, sustainable fuel sources, transportation, adaptation and self-sufficiency in the area of local food sourcing.

Kingston’s Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator Julie Noble said the plan is in its very preliminary stages; but, in order for this plan to work the local government, community and local businesses must all cooperate with each other.

“Through this climate action plan creating, through this process, a way for us all to do better,” said Noble. “Although we do not have the answer right now that says, ‘You can do this immediate action,’ that’s one of the things we really hope to get out of this,” she said.

The city is currently working with the residential and business community to gather input for potential solutions and suggestions for the plan. That public input will be highlighted in September when the plan is projected to be solidified.