This has been over a year in the making. Introduced by Councilwoman Sherri Myers, and spearheaded by 350 Pensacola, the resolution was unanimously adopted as council members observe the impacts of a changing climate on our land and waters.
This is a huge victory for Pensacola. Experts agree that cities are the centers of climate change mitigation, having the most control over how their city handles its emissions, energy efficiency, and citizen participation in reducing its emissions footprint while innovating to improve quality of life. These strategies include green building, slowing traffic, improving public transportation, walking and biking lanes, and supporting local business. Making sure we protect water quality, build environments that reduce heat, embellish the natural environment, and enable all citizens to participate will be the concerns of this task force.
All these initiatives create jobs, save money, and set up the city to receive funding from foundations, state and federal agencies that are pouring more money into climate mitigation programs.
Challenges are: 1) the Mayor has not shown interest in the Task Force; 2) the State of Florida lacks leadership from the Governor and legislature to enact the policies and support to truly help cities make the energy and infrastructure changes that are necessary to become truly climate adapted. Citizen participation is crucial to bring leaders and experts to the task. Check the City Council site to get to meetings and to contact council members to express your ideas. Write Mayor Aston Hayward to express your desire that he become an active participant with the Task Force.