It's Climate Week through this Sunday, and we want to take a moment to share our perspective on why Sustain Charlotte's work is so critical to reducing our local contribution to climate pollution.
In addition to being critical to creating a more equitable city, we focus on smart growth and transportation choices because both are critical to curbing climate change.
In the US, the ways that we travel and build our communities contribute more climate pollution than any other source.
If the Charlotte area is to meet its adopted goal of becoming a low carbon city by 2050, and do our part in the climate fight, we need to make better decisions today by:
Investing in safe and accessible streets for walking and bicycling
Ensuring everyone has easy access to parks, greenways, and other natural areas
Creating a fast, frequent, and reliable public transit system powered by renewable energy
Prioritizing equitable, walkable development instead of sprawl that perpetuates too much driving
Protecting trees, streams, and air for a healthy environment and healthy residents
Transportation and sprawling land use are the leading contributors to climate change (image: Yale Climate Connections)
The time to act is now. Land uses don't change overnight, and new transportation projects take years to become a reality. And then they typically don’t change again for decades.
Yet we need to reduce our climate pollution as fast as possible to avoid further disastrous and costly consequences than what we are already experiencing across the globe.
So every decision about how we grow as a city must be made with how it impacts the climate in mind.
This fact informs our advocacy at every turn, even though we may not always voice it.