To accelerate climate action, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean is announcing the formation of a Climate Action Division whose sole focus will be ensuring Boise is a resilient city. In a time where the importance of preparedness and innovative steps for economic recovery are more important than ever, Boise will position itself to be a national leader in mitigating climate impacts and innovating around the creation of a robust climate economy.
“I can’t overstate the significance of this team’s creation,” said Mayor McLean. “I’ve said from day one that meaningful impact for our community requires bold action not big talk. The formation of Boise’s first-ever Climate Action Division places climate solutions and innovation at the center of our efforts to create opportunity for everyone, take steps to ensure our community recovers economically, and prepares us for the future ahead.”
The Climate Action Division is currently being formed with existing city staff to put a singular focus on climate change, preparedness, and innovation in the city.
In the coming months, Boise residents can expect to see major acceleration in the development of the community’s first-ever climate action plan, a strategy that will guide our city’s actions and the impact of the Climate Action Division.
The Mayor’s charge is that the Division, and its climate action plan, seek innovative practices to create economic opportunity, ensure Boise leads and our residents benefit, and exemplify Boise’s values and unique climate challenges and opportunities. The plan will emphasize health, economic opportunity and equity for all Boiseans in the actions undertaken by the Division and will include a climate justice baseline report.
The City of Boise will develop the strategy with national experts and the community, ensuring it is representative of our broad and diverse city and reflects the energy, economic, transportation, and environmental values of our residents and businesses.
Boise residents and businesses will be invited to participate and offer feedback on their climate priorities and values. Boiseans will have an opportunity to help shape the plan that will have long-lasting impacts on clean energy, methane gas use, transportation, open space and more. The plan will also detail what Boise residents and businesses can do to help make Boise a climate-resilient city through actions such as energy efficiency, waste reduction and water conservation.
The risk to all Boiseans of climate inaction is substantial. A 2016 Climate Adaptation Assessment led by the University of Idaho and conducted specifically for the City of Boise to measure climate impacts in the Treasure Valley outlined eight impacts for our region. From increased drought frequency, poor air quality from large fires, and heat stress days, the City of Boise and the Treasure Valley will face significant climate challenges. The city hopes to deepen the community understanding of how these climate change risks will impact Boiseans and will develop actions that will help mitigate the risks to our community.
Climate change also presents opportunities to prepare our community, build resilience and create a new, robust climate economy. Boise already has a diverse and strong business community and leadership, and our city can harness that power and culture to find innovative solutions to the unique climate challenges Boise will face. With unique assets such as the largest direct-use geothermal system in the county, Boise is poised to be a national leader in innovation in a climate economy. While climate change will present significant challenges, the City of Boise has a strong foundation to build a community that is proactive in preparing for those impacts, and at the same time attracting a new wave of businesses and jobs to thrive in Boise.