The following message was sent to the Bloomingtonian Monday:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2023
For more information, please contact:
Andrew Krebbs, Communications Director, Office of the Mayor
[email protected] or 812-349-3406
Sandie Jones, Town Manager, Town of Nashville
[email protected] or 812-988-5526
Jody Coffman, Communications and Events Coordinator, City of Columbus
[email protected] or 812-376-2500
Regional Leaders Launch Project 46: New Bipartisan, Cross-Sector, Multi-County Climate Change Alliance
Bloomington, Ind. – On Friday, March 24, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop, Nashville Town Manager Sandie Jones, and Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton gathered at the Nashville Town Hall to announce the launch and next steps of a bipartisan, cross-sector, multi-county effort to address climate change.
A new regional alliance, Project 46, named for the state highway linking Bartholomew, Brown, and Monroe counties, will identify and pursue solutions that effectively address our shared challenges and opportunities related to climate change.
“We are at a critical juncture with regard to climate change,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Just this week, an international report warned of dire results for our planet if we do not make significant changes with regard to fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. We face serious local consequences, of course. But also, we face enormous opportunities to work together locally and improve our communities – doing our part for the planet while also creating good jobs, sustainability, equity, and higher quality of life. We can help each other achieve those goals, and a strong regional initiative is a great place to start.”
In the coming weeks, Jones, Lienhoop, and Hamilton will call on their communities’ respective legislative bodies to adopt a common resolution indicating support for the alliance, commit to an initial three-year phase, and allocate public funds for this effort. The proposed resolution (included below) embraces four common goals:
- Track and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as communities and as a region;
- Coordinate local investments and leverage available state and federal funding opportunities, including, but not limited to, funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Inflation Reduction Acts;
- Set goals, advance initiatives, highlight successes and challenges, and promote best practices by engaging government, nonprofit, and private sector leadership;
- Produce an annual community report to demonstrate the activities and impact of these efforts and progress towards shared goals.
“The Town of Nashville is pleased to be part of this amazing partnership with Columbus and Bloomington,” said Town Manager Sandie Jones. “This is an opportunity where we can begin to work together as a region to mitigate climate change.”
Proposed funding includes annual contributions from each government entity based on population at $0.50 per capita, supplemented by matching private and philanthropic support. These funds would be used to support the work of the alliance, which itself can help leverage state and federal funding.
“The City of Columbus is excited to partner with our friends in Nashville and Bloomington on this important initiative,” said Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop. “We often ask ourselves what those in our community 20 years from now might wish we had done today. Concerns about the environment and climate change are top of mind now and will become more so as time goes on. We owe it to those who follow – our kids and grandkids – to do our part.”
Following the adoption of the common resolution, a task force will be established composed of representatives from each community to oversee the collaboration. Businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions will be welcomed and encouraged to join this alliance.
Project 46 follows a joint gathering held last October that initiated a collaborative, cross-county approach to addressing climate change. Mayors Hamilton and Lienhoop hosted the first-ever Regional Climate Convening, bringing together approximately 100 critical players from Bartholomew, Brown, and Monroe Counties from the private, nonprofit, educational, and government sectors. Learn more about the October 2022 event at: https://bton.in/Xe4Lh
The Town of Nashville hosted Friday’s event, and Town Council Member Anna Hofstetter welcomed guests to Town Hall and offered remarks supporting the importance of collaboration. The full video of Friday’s announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/l6x4tAcJ_gg
Read the referenced 2023 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate change report at: https://bton.in/DrFCC
DRAFT RESOLUTION: REGIONAL CLIMATE ALLIANCE
WHEREAS: Carbon pollution is affecting our region and placing at risk the well-being of our current and future residents, infrastructure, and institutions;
WHEREAS: The cost of increasing floods and extreme heat can be measured in lost lives, diminished economic security, rising food prices, poorer health outcomes, and millions of dollars in disaster relief;
WHEREAS: Regional leadership can more effectively advance progress towards adapting to a changing climate;
WHEREAS: South-central Indiana regional leadership began meeting in 2022 on this issue, including residents of Bartholomew, Brown, and Monroe Counties; and
WHEREAS: An effective regional response to climate change can be delivered through collaboration between city, public, private, academic, and nonprofit constituencies to develop and implement long-term, effective solutions;
THEREFORE: Be it resolved that together as elected local leaders, we commit to a regional climate coalition, with at least a three-year starting phase, to identify and pursue solutions that effectively address our shared challenges and embrace as primary goals for the effort that:
- We shall lead by example by tracking and reporting greenhouse gas emissions as communities and as a region;
- We shall seek to coordinate local investments and leverage available state and federal funding opportunities, including, but not limited to, funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Inflation Reduction Acts;
- We shall engage government, nonprofit, and private sector leadership to advance initiatives, highlight successes and challenges, and promote best practice examples within and across sectors proactively to respond to climate impacts;
- We shall provide an annual community report to demonstrate the activities and impact of these efforts and progress towards shared goals.
THEREFORE: Be it further resolved that we commit to seek to fund this regional climate coalition through shared public, private, and philanthropic annual support adequate to its mission.