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  • Supervisors approve resolution supporting Paris Climate Accord

    Jun 06, 2017 | Read More News
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    climate changeThe Pima County Board of Supervisors June 6 voted 3-2 to approve a resolution that affirms the county’s commitment to combatting climate change and the county’s support for the Paris Climate Accord.

    The board’s action is in response to a recent decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the accord. The county joins hundreds of other communities across the country that have taken similar actions in the days since the President’s announcement. 

    In a memorandum to the Board of Supervisors requesting the resolution, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote, “Climate change threatens many of the County’s conservation initiatives, including the award-winning Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. It greatly increases the risk of increased heat, prolonged drought, devastating wildfires, and increased flooding and is already increasing stress on the native plant and animal species protected under the SDCP. Climate change also increases the likelihood Pima County will fall out of attainment with state and federal air quality standards, thereby making it more costly and difficult for businesses to operate and expand in Pima County.”

    The resolution states that climate change will adversely affect not only the ecology of the county but also its economy, which relies heavily on tourism, especially eco-tourism. 

    “[B]eyond the numerous social and environmental benefits accrued through participating in the Paris Agreement, additional opportunities to realize enormous economic benefits in the ‘next economy’ revolving around clean energy technologies, sustainable food production, and energy and water efficiency to produce cost savings and new business growth is vital to our region,” the resolution states. 

    The resolution also calls for the creation of a county task force to “identify which climate adaption and mitigation needs should be given the highest operational priorities based on scientific evidence, community health and economic co-benefits” by implementing the climate change mitigation actions called for in the county’s Sustainable Action Plan for Pima County Operations, adopted in 2014, and Pima Prospers, the county’s general plan passed in 2015. 

    It also calls for the county to take a leadership role in a report on climate change, the Fourth National Climate Assessment’s Southwest Chapter. 

    The Sustainable Action Plan is “a systematic approach to integrating the goals of sustainability into virtually all facets of the way Pima County government operates—from the cars we drive, to the energy and water we consume, to the construction of our buildings, to the products we purchase, to the way in which we view and handle our “used” materials,” Huckelberry wrote to the board. 

    Pima Prospers is an expansive planning document that addresses land use, infrastructure, economic development, health and quality of life. It addresses climate change mitigation throughout, however, Chapter 3 of the plan includes a section that specifically addresses the issue, including specific goals and action plans for addressing the effects of climate change in the county. 

    Excerpts from Pima Prospers addressing climate change:
    Over time, climate change stands to adversely impact the natural environment of the rich and diversified Sonoran Desert, threatening (a) the resilience and vitality of our economy; (b) the health and safety of vulnerable populations; (c) our limited water supply with more frequent and persistent drought; and (d) more intense flooding; and (e) the overall well-being of our community and surrounding natural areas through increased frequency and intensity of extreme heat, drought and wildland fires.

    The County has taken a number of steps in collaboration with other organizations and agencies to plan for- and mitigate- the negative effects of climate change and increase the resilience of the human and natural dimensions of the environment to climate-induced changes. Work has included:

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