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The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Sullivan Sisters bring bluegrass to Evanston
Sullivan Sisters bring bluegrass to Evanston
Marin Ubersox, In-Depth Editor • February 22, 2024
Actors Gymnasium has served as a core part of Evanstons arts scene since it began 29 years ago.
Evanston's Actors Gymnasium: 29 years of risk-taking, mentorship
Nadira Bumi, Staff Writer • February 22, 2024
On the cutting edge
On the cutting edge
Long before she was cracking up crowds on improv’s premier stage at Second City, Claire McFadden spent her days in Evanston getting her first taste of improv and sketch comedy. (Photo courtesy of Claire McFadden)
Second City's resident 'wild card' puts jokes first
Sam Froum, Arts & Entertainment Editor • December 21, 2023

Evanston City Council unveils 2024 plans to advance its Climate Action and Resilience Plan

Sustainability+and+Resilience+Coordinator+Carrie+Pratt+led+a+presentation+on+the+Citys+climate+action+progress.
Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator Carrie Pratt led a presentation on the City’s climate action progress.

The Evanston City Council meeting on Jan. 8 focused on Evanston’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan, or CARP, and what it will look like in the new year. Cara Pratt, the Sustainability and Resilience Coordinator of the City of Evanston, covered last year’s successes in sustainability as well as goals for 2024 in the Implementation Update.

“The 2018 Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) and declaration of a climate emergency requires the community of Evanston to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, eventually to zero,” stated the CARP Memorandum in the Council’s meeting agenda.

Since the City of Evanston founded CARP five years ago, the program has made progress in many aspects of sustainability. Evanston reduced carbon emissions by 36 percent between 2005 and 2022 and achieved nine unique goals in 2023:

  • Tripling the size of the Sustainability & Resilience Team
  • Awarding $200,000 to local businesses through Sustain Evanston
  • Launching the Green Homes Pilot
  • Conducting robust stakeholder engagement to phase out natural gas for new construction
  • Extending the Community Choice Aggregation contract and awarding a municipal electricity contract for 100% renewable electricity
  • Passing public and private tree preservation ordinances
  • Passing the shopping bag tax and plastic bag ban ordinance
  • Breaking ground on an all-electric Animal Shelter
  • Making progress on the Parks & Green Space Strategic Plan, Source Water Protection Plan, Stormwater Master Plan, and Comprehensive Plan

The memorandum also included more general information and statistics around CARP’s goals and successes, including natural gas emissions.

“Total natural gas emissions have remained approximately constant over the last 17 years. All other areas have decreased in emissions, largely through increased energy efficiency, reduced emissions from our electric grid and replacing the combustion of fossil fuels with electricity,” the memorandum stated.

Looking forward to the next year of sustainability in Evanston, Pratt focused on a few of many goals for 2024 during the meeting.

“We’ll continue to find ways to save the city money through energy efficiency,” said Pratt. “We’ll focus on buildings like the animal shelter and Robert Crown for our first solar power purchase agreement contracts.”

CARP’s 2024 Action Agenda lists legislation, community projects, contracts and municipal projects for the new year, as well as ongoing projects and research around sustainability in Evanston.

“I want you all to focus on these four pieces of legislation,” Pratt said, mentioning a building electrification and stretch code ordinance, a building performance standards ordinance, an ordinance to eliminate parking minimums and a preservation/deconstruction ordinance.

Apart from legislation, some projects are better known to Evanston residents, such as the bag tax and lead pipe replacement program. Other projects may not be common knowledge to the public yet, but could have an important impact on sustainability in 2024.

Pratt finished the presentation with a reminder of the broad implications of CARP.

“As I close out, I want to remind everyone in this room that every project you care about as a council member, and every project you care about as a resident, has synergy with CARP,” Pratt said. “Everything is a climate justice issue.”

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