not a plan to get a plan yet (8)

(8th in a series about Bethlehem’s Climate Action Plan)

Peter Crownfield is officially retired but spends most of his time working with students in his role as internship coordinator for the Alliance for Sustainable Communities–Lehigh Valley.


I’d like to add a couple of minor points to this discussion.

It’s important to remember that the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement signed in 2006 included 12 points to guide implementation, many of which apply to the community as a whole; the final point is to “Help educate the public, schools, other jurisdictions, professional associations, business and industry about reducing global warming pollution.”

In the fall of 2006, an intern from Lehigh University developed a detailed set of recommendations to make substantial progress in each of the 12 points in the CPA. Very little was done with these, although Mayor Callahan did, from time to time, mention the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions [GHG].

Judging by the recent “update” (see post #5) , I don’t think it’s accurate to say we “have a plan to get a plan.” What we have is the idea of doing a plan + some valuable steps towards a CAP — I haven’t seen anything resembling a plan for how it will get done. This, of course, would have to be public!

The idea that part of the recycling director’s time will go to this is good, although it raises 2 questions: (1) does the new recycling director have strong qualifications in areas of sustainability? and (2) wouldn’t it be more important to set up an office of sustainability than to have a recycling director at all?

And the idea that most of this will be done “in-house” is a pretty clear indication of priority.  Budgeting funds for an outside consultant is a start to develop the actual plan, but the fact that it’s only $30K — out of $78-million — is another indication of the low priority attached.

Notes for Implementing the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in Bethlehem

The above-linked PDF contains the implementation points developed in 2006, with a couple of edits to reflect parts that no longer apply + new notes [blue] that would apply today; otherwise it is the same as what was done in 2006


One thought on “not a plan to get a plan yet (8)

  1. From Breena Holland

    Thank you, Peter, for providing this clear and helpful response. At the last CAP meeting, Councilman Reynolds stated that the city would be using 100% renewable energy by 2019 for its own operations. Does anyone know what they mean by renewable energy? Would this include some of the dirty renewable energy sources that are in the state’s renewable energy portfolio? If so, I hope the city would change this plan so that they purchase from only the clean renewable energy sources.


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