This is the fifth of a series of topic specific newsletters that I will be sharing with you over the next several weeks. You can read all my newsletters here. I know that together we will continue to work to address the challenges in our communities and make Ward 2 and DC the best place to learn, live, work, play, and do business.
As scientists link extreme weather to climate change, we are reminded with each hurricane, flood, and tornado that we must remain steadfast in our commitment to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and protecting the environment. Renewable energy, infrastructure and planning, and education are all ways we can work together to address and fight climate change. As I know many of you share my concern for the environment, I want to highlight a few of the ways we are seeking to address climate change as a city.
Renewable Energy: DC has committed to net zero emissions by eliminating its reliance on fossil fuels by 2050. Together with my colleagues, I am working to codify this commitment through the Climate Commitment Act of 2021. This commitment is an important part of our city’s efforts to fight climate change as renewable energy allows us to be more resilient. The primary way to generate renewable energy in DC is through rooftop solar. The Solar for All initiative is an important part of the District’s commitment to solar equity and ensuring that all residents regardless of income receive the environmental and financial benefits of renewable energy.
Infrastructure and Planning: In addition to increasing reliance on renewable energy, we can address climate change through infrastructure and planning. The budget passed by the council included important investments in the Zero Waste Omnibus Amendment Act to streamline recycling. The budget also included funding to retrofit District buildings to be more energy efficient. Furthermore, the Comprehensive Plan which guides the city’s growth and development over the next decade was approved by the Council earlier this year. The plan named Foggy Bottom as a Resiliency Area to better address flooding and the impacts of climate change on our waterfront.
Education: Education is a critical way to teach our youth about the importance of protecting our environment and taking steps to fight climate change. I worked with my colleagues to include funding in the budget for the National Children’s Museum and to design a welcome center along the C&O canal in Georgetown. The National Children’s museum has hosted the first climate change exhibit in any children’s museum in the country. During the pandemic, it was developed into a virtual field trip, reaching children across DC and across the country. In addition, the welcome center in Georgetown will play a key role in educating our elementary school students on the importance of keeping our waterways clean and healthy. I’ve worked closely with Georgetown Heritage and the Potomac Riverkeeper Network on this important work to protect our waterways.
The stakes are high for addressing climate change and I’m committed to ensuring DC remains a global leader in this important work. Together we can all do our part to make a difference to protect our local communities and the planet.
Yours in Service,