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Climate Reality Releases IGND Scorecard

Nearly two and half years since the Ithaca Green New Deal (IGND) was passed by the Ithaca Common Council, activists from the Finger Lakes chapter of The Climate Reality Project have released a scorecard to track the city’s progress towards the IGND goals.

“With the IGND Scorecard, we will track the City’s progress against their project plan and hold them accountable to demonstrate to the public that their plan delivers decarbonization, emissions reduction and climate justice,” said Diane Stefani, co-chair of the Finger Lakes chapter.

The IGND scorecard was inspired by the scorecard made by the capitol region chapter of The Climate Reality Project made for President Biden’s first 100 days in office, which Stefani also helped create.

Through the IGND scorecard, local Climate Reality Project members hope to both credit the Ithaca City Government for progress made so far while holding it accountable, including raising awareness of slow progress in two goals marked as “stalled”: The Justice50 and Climate Action Plan initiatives.

Advocates hope that the scorecard will keep the public informed. “We really wanted the website and the scorecard to be a resource for primarily the people of Ithaca, so they can stay abreast of what is happening with the Ithaca Green New Deal,” said Paula Welling, graphic designer and member of the leadership committee for the Finger Lakes chapter. “If things aren’t progressing as quickly as we hope them to be, a goal is off target, then people can know and they can advocate.”

Rebecca Evans, City of Ithaca Sustainability Coordinator, said that work is continuing on the framework and Climate Action Plan (CAP) despite these delays.

“There are a few projects that are ‘stalled’ but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the work isn’t continuing. City staff and the Mayor made the decision to put projects on hold [including Justice50 and CAP] while a Sustainability and Climate Justice commission is formed,” said Evans. “The commission would be populated with city residents from a wide variety of backgrounds in the interest of providing feedback on IGND programs.”

According to Evans, the commission will hopefully be approved in early 2023 and will then review upcoming projects.

Siobhan Hull ’24, a general body organizer for Climate Justice Cornell and hub organizer for the Sunrise Movement Ithaca chapter believes that ongoing community organizing is needed to keep the Ithaca Green New Deal moving forward.

“I think community organizing is really necessary to continue to advance the goal of the Ithaca Green New Deal, and that it’s really necessary that we show there is continued community support behind the Ithaca Green New Deal, that we hold the city accountable for fulfilling the promises they made in 2019.”

While identifying some goals as lagging behind, the scorecard also grades many of the Ithaca Green New Deal’s goals as “in progress” or “ongoing.” These include grid decarbonization, reducing emissions from building operations, workforce development and democratic engagement. One of the projects in progress is the electrification of thousands of buildings across Ithaca, including municipal, commercial, and residential buildings, in partnership with the company BlocPower.

While the scorecard is primarily meant to help keep Ithaca residents informed, Thomas Hirasuna, co-chair of the Finger Lakes chapter, also hopes that it can help inform and inspire people in communities that want to follow Ithaca’s example.

- Tamara Kamis, Cornell Daily Sun, 12/6/22

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News and Events

Creating a Sustainable Food System, Feb. 22nd

Food systems are a major driver of global biodiversity loss, deforestation, water scarcity and pollution, and pesticide toxicity. Food production also generates greenhouse gas emissions that are a major contributor to climate change.

With 1/3 of the earth’s land already used for agriculture and a growing global population, changes to both food production systems and consumption (on the part of organisations and individuals) are essential for a sustainable future where everyone has access to healthy food.

Join panelists Dr. Michael Clark, Oxford Martin Programme on Biodiversity & Society; Dr. Sasha Gennet, The Nature Conservancy; Dr. Joseph Poore, Oxford Martin Programme on Food Sustainability Analytics; and Dr. Tara Garnett (Chair) as they discuss how sustainability in agriculture, food labelling, diet changes, and policy can help can create a food system that not only provides enough food, but keeps us and the planet healthy.

Virtual Panel discussion: "Sustainable Food: Creating a Food System for Healthy People and Planet"

When: Wednesday February 22, Noon-1:30 P.M. ET (5-6.30 P.M. GMT)

To watch live online: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/sustainable-food

To watch later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbODu6cUn6g

Presented by the New Oxford Martin School

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