It is clear that climate change will be a major threat to the planet by 2022. Our society’s future depends on clean, renewable energy and other forms environmental sustainability. Akrons city government was established more than a decade ago. A bold plan of environmental actionBut, we haven’t had any strategic direction on this matter since then. Akron can now recommit to this effort by joining Ohio: Power a Clean Future, a coalition non-partisan, statewide organizations that are currently working with every major Ohio city to provide free services to improve clean energy and the environment.
We are already seeing the effects of climate change across the country with more frequent storms and droughts, as well as wildfires. We have avoided the worst of it in the 330. However, last winter, my Firestone friends lost their home and everything they owned to a devastating Colorado brush fire. Putin’s bloody war in Ukraine caused gas prices to rise and pushed us towardSaudi oil.Clean, renewable energy is crucial to limit climate change and to free us from dependence upon dictators. Akron is not the place to be if you want clean energy.
The Akron Greenprint was a comprehensive environmental blueprint that our city government created in 2009. City staff set out reduce waste and increase recycling, promote community awareness and track carbon emissions from city buildings. Unfortunately, much of this work was abandoned after a few years.
Since then, we have made some significant progress in the area of the environment. We have spent more $1 billion on federally required environmental projects. Project for combined sewer overflowOur Cuyahoga River is being dramatically improved, but at a huge, unaffordable expense that we all feel. My late colleague and I also worked on the CSO project.Rich Swirsky has always stood up for environmental concernsThey were at the table.
However, in recent years we have not been able to develop a comprehensive city action plan that promotes clean energy and environmental sustainability. Power a Clean Future Ohio is the answer. PCFO is a coalition non-partisan organizations across the state that has come together to offer free services to cities in order to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. You read that right, it’s free services!
PCFO provides assistance to cities in vehicle fleet assessments, so that they can make a financial argument for electric vehicles. They help cities to look into grants and funding to install EV charging stations. This will make it possible for the future economy. PCFO provides advice on how to install solar panels on parking decks and roofs of city buildings. They enable cities to measure their emissions and set goals for carbon reductions.
More than twenty-six communities have joined the PCFO network in order to take advantage this deal. This includes Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo, Dayton. Youngstown, Canton. Lima. Lorain. Sandusky. Yellow Springs. This list shows that Akron is Ohio’s largest city that hasn’t joined PCFO.
PCFO can help us revive Akron’s strategy for clean energy and the environment. These issues are often seen as a luxury that we cannot afford. I believe we are morally responsible for preventing climate change. However, I also believe we are economically responsible to our city. We can either invest now in the economy that will be there or later, as the CSO project demonstrated. Ohio is investing now and we cannot be left behind.
How can you get involved? At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, PCFO Executive director (and my Ohio State classmate). Joe FlaridaMy Ward 8 community meeting will feature a presentation by the Northwest Recreation Center at 1730 Shatto Ave.
You are invited to learn more about PCFO, and participate in a discussion about Akron’s progress on clean energy and environmental issues.
Shammas Malik, Akron’s Ward 8, councilman. You can reach him at 330-285-5310, or firstname.lastname@example.org.