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Tucson pushes toward climate action goal

City hopes to become carbon neutral by 2030
Tucson is continuing its efforts to combat climate change with a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 7:17 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson is continuing its efforts to combat climate change with a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Next week the city of Tucson will announce the consulting firm that will lead the decade-long climate action plan.

“It’s an ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2030 given this is 2022,” said Kathy Jacobs, the Director for Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions.

Jacobs is a climate change expert at the University of Arizona and has worked closely with the city.

“The majority of the power used by the city of Tucson comes from fossil-based sources so that’s one component of it,” she said. “Another is looking at transportation and how quickly we’re able to transition to electric vehicles.”

Many Tucsonans are on board. A city survey found about 71 percent of respondents strongly support investing in electric vehicle infrastructure and electric vehicles becoming more widely used.

“We need to get to a place where you can do fast charging in multiple parts of town relatively easily and inexpensively if we want people to be transitioning wholly to electric vehicles,” she said.

Time is of the essence as researchers say the impacts of climate change are only predicted to get worse.

“By 2050, the United States government just released a report that shows we’ll have another foot of sea level rise kind of locked in based on what we’ve currently done to the atmosphere,” said Ladd Keith, an assistant professor of planning at the University of Arizona.

Keith is a researcher in urban planning and climate change. He said fighting the climate crisis is possible, but it will take a community effort.

“We need to make sure the most vulnerable in our community are taken care of when we address climate change but also, we’re an innovative community and we have a thriving economy,” he said. “We can do both of those things at the same time but need to make sure everyone is at the table.”

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