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Carrboro participates in Global Climate Strike Week


Carrboro resident Jeanette O'Conner, 37, writes her name down to receive more information regarding the Carrboro Community Climate Action Plan on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. 

The worldwide Global Climate Strike Week reached Carrboro this weekend as residents try to raise awareness about climate change-related issues.

Two different events took place over the weekend to celebrate Global Climate Strike Week: The Global Climate Strike and walkout on Friday and an event at town hall that discussed the town’s climate project on Saturday.

The town started its own project to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions called the Carrboro Community Climate Action Plan, which lays out steps for Carrboro to help “reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that are causing global climate change.”

“That is a big plan that covers a lot of ground, including everything from energy efficiency to food choices to transportation to trees to all those things,” Board of Aldermen member Damon Seils said. 

According to the project description on the town’s website, the steps of this plan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit the community with financial savings through energy efficiency, the creation of new jobs, improved public health and air quality and healthier forests and streams.

As part of the plan to reduce Carrboro’s greenhouse gas emissions, town officials are working to modify different buildings, the transportation system and other municipal operations in the community.

“We are currently replacing the roof on town hall, and we’ve been doing some energy efficiency upgrades on other town-owned buildings,” Seils said.

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle declared the week of Sept. 22 through Sept. 28 as Public Transportation Week in Carrboro. This is to promote the use of public transportation to lower the amount of gas emissions cars contribute to the community.

"For every passenger mile traveled, public transportation produces a fraction of the harmful pollution as produced by private vehicles, only 5 percent as much carbon monoxide, less than 8 percent as many volatile organic compounds and less than half as much carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides," the mayor's proclamation said.

Seils said most of the greenhouse gas emissions from Carrboro, however, do not come from the government level of the community. He said most of the emissions come from the neighborhood level, such as how households handle waste, which is what the Community Climate Action Plan mostly targets.

“Individual actions, of course, are important, but to make a bigger impact, we need to really engage people in the communities and our neighborhoods,” Seils said.

Neighborhood organization is also something that is crucial for this plan, Seils said.

“I think organizing your neighbors is going to be a good way to help getting involved,” Seils said. “We really want to make an impact at the neighborhood level rather than just at the individual level.”

One of the plan's goals is promoting composting and expanding options to do so.

“We’re doing some educational programming, trying to get some more options available for people to have composting,” Seils said. “There’s composting pick-up happening at some downtown businesses now.”

Board of Aldermen member Sammy Slade said he encourages citizens to come before the board and demand climate action.

"I would encourage citizens to stay tuned," he said about the town's implementation of the plan.


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