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Geneva meeting gives residents a look at proposed Kane County climate action plan

Kane County residents had a chance to take a look at the county’s proposed Climate Action Implementation Plan during a public meeting held at the Geneva Public Library Tuesday night.

The plan represents the work of an 82-person team of volunteers, including community members and business representatives, as well as county and city staff, as well as consultant paleBLUEdot, officials said. The recommendation was also influenced by the results of 1,000 respondents who responded to a nationwide survey.

According to a press release, the plan “aims to increase resilience to climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 2019 levels by 2030, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.”

District 4 Kane County Board member Mavis Bates, who also serves as chair of the board’s Energy and Environment Committee, said work on the plan began more than six months ago and the county “needs a climate action plan to do our part locally.” “Climate change and climate warming are a global problem.”

Tuesday’s 90-minute meeting was moderated by Ted Redmond of maplewood, Minnesota-based paleBLUEdot.

He said the proposed climate action plan is organized into sections with “cross-community impact zones – everything from transportation to buildings to green space, trees and the economy.”

For each section, “we added organized, strategic goals, and overall the goals address things like greenhouse gas reductions or adaptation resilience, and each of those is supported by a menu of actions,” Redmond said. said. “The plan is structured so that both the county and local municipalities and governments in Kane County can use it as a guide for their actions.”

In terms of changes people might see in the short term, “there’s going to be a huge amount of information and education that will come out of this,” Redmond said.

“A lot of these introduce things we already know,” he said. “Information available: tax breaks, incentives, technology awareness and how technology can help. This results in a kind of educational campaign. In the waste department, we aim to reduce waste in general, increase recycling and increase organic matter diversion, meaning less landfill space.”

As Kane County Board member Mavis Bates speaks to the crowd, Ted Redmond of the consulting group paleBLUEdot listens in the background during a meeting focused on Kane County’s proposed Climate Action Implementation Plan in Geneva Tuesday night. (For David Sharos/Beacon News)

Redmond said similar plans in other communities in the Chicago area, including Northbrook, have been “pretty successful;” “The plan is only a few years old.”

“Their annual update shows the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Not all of their targets have been achieved yet, but they are only a few years old,” he said.

A crowd of over 60 people attended the meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, with many offering mixed views on the proposed plan.

St. Terri Titus of St. Charles said she has many questions about how the plans will be implemented and the costs.

“When I read this and they want to put more people per acre and they want 99,000 electric cars in seven years — that concerns me,” he said. “Where does electricity come from? “I don’t think the environment will be degraded and I would like to see how they implement this with all our taxes and what happens to all the waste.”

St. Marie Ziegler of St. Charles said she wanted to know more but “didn’t believe the climate change nonsense they were promoting.”

“We wonder why they spent so much money. “I’m not sure all this is necessary,” he said. “I feel like I need to be convinced why this is necessary.”

Madison Watson, 16, of Geneva, admitted she was there on a school mission but said she was concerned about the environment as a young person.

“This may sound like a cliché, but it’s a global warning, it’s definitely worrying. A lot of people think it’s fake, but no,” Watson said. “I’m encouraged that so many people have come forward. The first thing I can do is come here so I can learn the subject and see what I can do. Looking ahead, I’m thinking of going into landscape design and seeing if there’s anything I can do there.”

Two public meetings on the proposal will be held on Feb. 21 at the Aurora Public Library, Eola Road Branch, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., and on Feb. 24, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Hawthorne Hill Nature Center in Elgin. More are planned to be done. afternoon

The plan can also be reviewed and commented online at https://palebluedot.llc/kane-climate-action until February 29.

David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

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