Climate Plan Meet-Up: Better Late Than Never

Three months later, group meets June 16

Climate Plan Meet-Up: Better Late Than Never

The Austin Climate Protection Program held a community think-tank in early March, promising action – at long last – on a Community Plan. But so many staff have quit the beleaguered program that only three months later, on June 16, will the advisory group finally meet again.

Note: City council's Feb. 2007 resolution directed creation of a community-wide plan to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources within one year. Since then, the city and Austin Energy have invested millions in the Climate Protection Program and its staff. This week's progress report sent by Director Ester Matthews is provided here.

Subject: Energy Use Working Group

Hello Energy Use Working Group,

Thank you again for being a part of Austin's Community Climate Action Planning process. We have experienced an unfortunate chain of events that has required this process to be held up as we identify and hire a lead staff person to manage this project. We had hoped that we would fill the position in May, but now we must admit that we will be hiring in the month of June.

Following up on all of us gathering for the charrette of March 4-5, Climate Protection staff plans to bring the Advisory group together again June 16th to complete the consolidation of the objectives and to firm up the group goal. After that meeting, I will schedule our next transportation meeting to introduce you to the new community engagement coordinator.

As for next steps, we would like you to calculate your carbon footprint and get others you know in the community to do so as well. As you may know, we have an Austin-specific carbon footprint calculator. This is important because this calculator will work to educate the community on their carbon impact on Austin as well as allow the Climate Protection Program to track the carbon footprint of all citizens who register an account. This information will be useful to your group because it will provide an accurate picture of the baseline carbon footprint for Austinites and help determine goals and strategies to reduce that footprint. A perk of registering an account on the calculator and calculating your footprint is that you will be entered into a bi-monthly drawing. We have awarded SXSW wristbands and a compost bin so far! We have other great prizes planned for the following months as well …

Also, the City of Austin is seeking nominations for the 2010 Austin Tree of the Year awards, through June 30th. These awards are given annually to one large and one small tree within the city limits. A nomination form may be found at, or may be picked up at the Zilker Garden Center and local plant nurseries … 

Again, thank you so much for all of your work and dedication to the group!

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