The City of Lawrence and Douglas County are working together to develop a Climate Action Plan, which will identify ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce risk and vulnerability to extreme weather events.
The Climate Action Plan was identified as a need in Plan 2040, which specifically calls for Douglas County and the City of Lawrence to adopt a climate change adaptation and mitigation plan and manage air quality. The plan will build on and connect to previous planning efforts like the Climate Protection Plan and Food System Plan. It will also draw on a Regional Climate Action Plan developed for the nine-county Kansas City region, including Douglas County, earlier this year. Douglas County was invited to be a part of the regional plan because of the county and City of Lawrence's long reputation for working on environmental and climate issues.
The Regional Climate Action Plan provides high-level regional guidance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to and bounce forward from the many risks climate change poses. It will be used as a reference to develop a locally-specific Climate Action Plan, tailored to our community’s priorities, accounting for our assets and vulnerabilities, and including specific short-term and longer-term action items and strategies.
There are a number of ways for those who care about the future of Douglas County to get involved and be a part of the Climate Action Plan process this fall. Everyone is encouraged to participate in a survey designed to understand how residents, organizations and businesses are affected by climate change.
In addition to the survey, community members are invited to sign up to become climate ambassadors, who have a menu of options to choose from to engage with people they already know about issues related to climate. In order to hear from the communities affected most by climate change, the City and County are partnering with the Sunrise Project and the Climate + Energy Project to employ community coordinators to collect community climate stories.
Results from surveys and information collected from climate ambassadors and community coordinators will inform the development of a draft Climate Action Plan in spring 2022. It is anticipated that the plan will be presented to the Lawrence City Commission and Douglas County Commission for adoption in spring 2022.
Information about the Climate Action Plan can be found at https://www.douglascountyks.org/climate.