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Environment and Outdoors

Portland, South Portland Develop Plan To Fight Climate Change

Caitlin Troutman
Maine Public

Anticipating the growing effects of climate change, the cities of Portland and South Portland have created what is being called a Joint Climate Action and Adaptation plan.

Goals in the draft plan called "Our Climate Future," include reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and, by 2040, having all municipal operations run on 100% clean renewable energy.

Portland Sustainability Director Troy Moon says it is important that the cities adapt to anticipated changes caused by climate change such as sea level rise and more very hot days.

“Make sure we're designing buildings that are energy efficient, and they're able to withstand the impacts of climate change. So that's just a change of practice.”

The plan includes 67 strategies across four focus areas: buildings and energy, transportation and land use, waste reduction and climate resilience.

“Adapting renewable energy and solar is really the number one thing we need to do, but we also need to work with transportation. We need to reduce the number of people driving around in single occupancy cars. We need to promote electric vehicles.”

Moon says that means creating walkable communities where people can live, work and recreate near their homes.

Both city councils need to vote on the proposal.