Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Receive $1M Each to Support Regional Climate Planning

Eastern Iowa Counties Collaborate on Climate Action Plan

Eastern Iowa Counties Collaborate on Climate Action Plan


Five Eastern Iowa counties — Linn, Johnson, Jones, Benton, and Washington — are joining forces to create a climate action plan for the region. With $2 million in federal funding, these counties aim to address greenhouse gas emissions and develop sustainable solutions.

Collaborative Approach

Although Cedar Rapids and Iowa City initially pursued the funding, they decided to expand the project to include the five contiguous counties. This decision was driven by the interconnectedness of these counties in terms of commuting, work, schools, and business. By working together, they can have a greater impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Development Process

The East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) and community partners will lead the development of the East Central Iowa Climate Action Plan. They will collaborate with leaders within the region to ensure the plan reflects the unique needs and priorities of each county. The preliminary plan is due on March 1 and will make the region eligible for federal funding of up to $4.6 billion for project implementation.

Voluntary Participation

Participation in the climate action plan is voluntary for counties and communities in the region. The goal is to meet each county and community where they are in their efforts to address climate change. This planning process aims to build capacity within the region to assist with future climate action planning and secure implementation funding.

The Importance of Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, contribute to global warming by trapping the sun’s heat in the atmosphere. The transportation, electricity, and industry sectors are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

The Need for Statewide Goals

Iowa currently lacks statewide goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This puts the state at a disadvantage in terms of addressing climate change and implementing sustainable practices. Other states have already set ambitious targets to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

Missed Opportunity

Iowa turned down $3 million in federal funding offered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop a climate action plan. This decision sets Iowa apart from other states that recognize the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a more sustainable future.

City-Specific Plans

The state’s three largest cities — Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport — were eligible to seek $1 million each for climate planning. Davenport decided not to pursue the funding, opening the opportunity for Iowa City. Each city will develop a plan tailored to its metropolitan area, ensuring that local needs and priorities are addressed.

Building Capacity for the Future

One of the primary goals of this collaborative effort is to build capacity in greenhouse gas mitigation. By developing expertise and resources in this area, cities and counties in the region will be better equipped to address climate change and implement sustainable practices in the future.

Engaging Communities

Cities and counties within the region are actively seeking input from their communities. They want to hear ideas for projects that can contribute to greenhouse gas reduction and create a more sustainable environment. This inclusive approach ensures that the entire community can get behind these initiatives.

Contact Information

For more information or to provide input, please contact Erin Jordan at (319) 339-3157 or erin.jordan@thegazette.com.

Read More of this Story at www.thegazette.com – 2023-10-13 20:45:00

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