By Aren Framil, Staff Reporter The Chester County Board of Commissioners adopted the Climate Action Plan on Oct. 7, the goal of which is to reduce gas emissions in Chester County by 80% by 2050. The plan examines the main sources of gas emissions and details measures to be taken to reduce their impact, as...
By Aren Framil, Staff Reporter
The Chester County Board of Commissioners adopted the Climate Action Plan on Oct. 7, the goal of which is to reduce gas emissions in Chester County by 80% by 2050. The plan examines the main sources of gas emissions and details measures to be taken to reduce their impact, as well as how we can work with outside partners on this issue. According to Carol Stauffer, Assistant Director of the Chester County Planning Commission, the process of passing this plan has not been easy.
“The initial draft, when we were first writing the draft, went through, probably at least four versions of the plan,” Stauffer said. “The only part of the plan that we have any real control over is what we are doing within our own facilities.”
Residents’ input on the plan was deeply influential in the process as well. Once the draft was ready to be released to the public, there was a social media outreach letting citizens know the plan was posted on the Chester County website for review. There was also a public meeting in March over Zoom where residents could give their input. Overall, the board received over 230 comments, which were then put together into a series of proposed edits to the plan.
The plan itself discusses four significant sources of carbon dioxide emissions: buildings and energy, transportation and land use, waste management and agriculture, food and forestry. An emphasis on renewable energy and the preservation of nature are among the changes to be implemented according to the Climate Action Plan.
“Companies are just not conscious, especially with factories. There’s fast fashion, but also the companies themselves, and all the pollution coming out of them,” said AJ Mallory, sophomore.
The adoption of the Climate Action Plan marks a monumental step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Chester County, but its effects on the community extend far beyond that. Short term effects include the creation of new jobs relating to clean energy, while long term effects include the reduction of extreme weather events. Another major effect of the plan is how its influence leads residents by example.
“I think part of it is just kind of demonstrating to the community that this is a serious issue, and that we’re doing something about it,” said Kevin Strogen, science teacher and Greening ’Stoga Task Force advisor. “We all play a part in the cause of it, we also can play a part in the solution. I think it’s just demonstrating to people that everyone can make a difference.”
Strogen estimates that things will continue to get worse in terms of climate change, and it will require serious determination on our part to create substantial change. Not only a fundamental decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, but an active effort to take carbon out of the air using different sequestration strategies is necessary for environmental alteration.
“Everything has become so politicized. People will say, ‘I’m not sensitive because I don’t care about the environment’, when in reality, it’s not about politics. It’s literally just about human decency,” said Svara Mazumder, junior.
Aren Framil can be reached at [email protected]
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