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File #: 19-1080    Version: 1 Name: TO REDUCE COUNTY FACILITY GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
Type: Resolution Status: Approved
File created: 1/7/2019 In control: Board of Commissioners
On agenda: 1/24/2019 Final action: 1/24/2019
Title: PROPOSED RESOLUTION TO REDUCE COUNTY FACILITY GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS WHEREAS, Cook County Government and the Forest Preserves of Cook County strive to be leaders in addressing climate change, and WHEREAS, both entities are working to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050, a goal that is consistent with attempting to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2?C (3.6?F) over preindustrial temperatures, per the 2012 Doha Amendment to the United Nations Kyoto Protocol, and WHEREAS, Cook County Government is ahead of its target for reducing building energy emissions as a result of its Green Buildings Program that implemented successful energy efficiency, renewable energy, space reduction and other initiatives that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its building energy use by 32 percent since 2010, and WHEREAS, with nearly 70,000 acres of land, Forest Preserves of Cook County ecosystems play an essential climate change mitigation rol...
Sponsors: TONI PRECKWINKLE (President), DENNIS DEER, BRIDGET DEGNEN, KEVIN B. MORRISON, LARRY SUFFREDIN, BRANDON JOHNSON, JOHN P. DALEY, PETER N. SILVESTRI, JEFFREY R. TOBOLSKI, STANLEY MOORE, DEBORAH SIMS, BILL LOWRY, LUIS ARROYO JR, BRIDGET GAINER, SCOTT R. BRITTON, ALMA E. ANAYA, DONNA MILLER

title

PROPOSED RESOLUTION

 

TO REDUCE COUNTY FACILITY GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

 

WHEREAS, Cook County Government and the Forest Preserves of Cook County strive to be leaders in addressing climate change, and

 

WHEREAS, both entities are working to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050, a goal that is consistent with attempting to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2°C (3.6°F) over preindustrial temperatures, per the 2012 Doha Amendment to the United Nations Kyoto Protocol, and

 

WHEREAS, Cook County Government is ahead of its target for reducing building energy emissions as a result of its Green Buildings Program that implemented successful energy efficiency, renewable energy, space reduction and other initiatives that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its building energy use by 32 percent since 2010, and

 

WHEREAS, with nearly 70,000 acres of land, Forest Preserves of Cook County ecosystems play an essential climate change mitigation role by absorbing over 1,544,000 tons of CO2 annually, and further restoration projects will help sequester even more CO2; and

 

WHEREAS, in October 2018, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new study of the impacts of global warming, and

 

WHEREAS, the report’s findings predict ocean rise of an additional 10 cm with 2°C warming compared to 1.5°C, an arctic free of sea ice in Summer once per decade compared to once per century, complete eradication of coral reefs compared to a 90 percent decline, and the loss of many more ecosystems, and

 

WHEREAS, in November 2018, the U.S. Global Change Research Program released the U.S. National Climate Assessment, which predicted that climate change could reduce the size of the U. S. economy by 10 percent by the end of the century, and

 

WHEREAS, an estimated minimum 200 million people around the globe would be subject to inundation from rising seas, and several hundred million more to climate related risks and poverty, and

 

WHEREAS, the current effects of climate change on Cook County from the warming of over 1°C that has already occurred include increased flooding, heavier rain and snow storms, and more extreme summer heat, all affecting the region’s people and economy, and

 

WHEREAS, the expected future impacts of global warming in Cook County include threats to food supply from impacts on agricultural crops and livestock; increase of invasive species; wildlife habitat destruction; extinction of native plant and insect species; increased incidence of pests and diseases; vulnerability of water supply and decreased quality of water; threats to infrastructure such as roads, rail, water supply and wastewater management; decreased air quality; threats of global unrest causing homelessness and immigration and disruption of business supply chains and markets; and, threats to many natural habitats and species, among others, and

 

WHEREAS, climate change impacts the low-income and vulnerable more heavily, through poorer air quality which impacts children, the elderly, and people with asthma and other respiratory and circulatory illnesses; flooding and heat-related damage to infrastructure which more heavily impacts municipalities with smaller tax bases to pay for infrastructure repair; and through heat-wave related mortality, which more heavily impacts the elderly, minorities and  lower income populations, and in other ways.

 

WHEREAS, the IPCC concludes that limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible, but would require global net human-caused emissions of CO2 to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050, and

 

WHEREAS, limiting CO2 emissions to these levels would require change on an unprecedented scale, including rapid and far-reaching changes in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities, and

 

WHEREAS, many of the actions required are already underway but would need to accelerate, and action across all fronts will need to proceed as fast as possible, and

 

WHEREAS, many of the actions required could either save money and resources, or improve other aspects of quality of life and our ability to adapt successfully to the climate change that is already underway.

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Commissioners of Cook County does hereby adopt the following goal: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a plan shall be developed to achieve this goal, and that progress towards this goal shall be reported publicly by the Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability in its annual Sustainability Report, and 

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that other local government agencies and businesses within Cook County are urged to join with us in adopting this greenhouse gas reduction goal to counter the most harmful effects of climate change.

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