To the editor:
The primary concern and focus now for Alexandria, indeed each of us, must be for the health and financial welfare for all of those affected by COVID-19. This is a crisis without parallel today.
The city’s work to promote the health and financial welfare of every Alexandrian will necessarily need to continue. The city has laid down a blueprint for accomplishing this in unanimously declaring a climate emergency and passing the Environmental Action Plan 2040. The EAP addresses climate change and reducing green-house gases.
Transitioning to a low-carbon sustainable growth path could deliver global economic benefits of $26 trillion between now and 2030, according to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. This means creating more than 65 million new low-carbon jobs by 2030. From a health standpoint, the benefits of reducing greenhouse gasses are even more compelling. More than 5.5 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, and roughly 80,000 each year in the U.S.
Our city needs to continue to combat the climate crisis and lead by example by accomplishing the EAP’s key goals such as:
• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and 80 to 100 percent by 2050.
• Ensuring that new construction meets the highest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building certification going forward and is carbon neutral by 2030.
• Ensuring that all new city and public school building projects achieve net-zero energy use.
• Transitioning government facilities to 100 percent renewable energy.
• Replacing the entire municipal fleet with electric vehicles by 2040.
• Increasing Alexandria’s tree canopy to 40 percent by 2035.
-Arthur “Sash” Impastato, Alexandria