Park Forest Joins Global Warming Debate

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Park Forest Village Board will begin discussing signing on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which was unanimously endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors on June 13, 2005.  If some form of this agreement is adopted, it will help drive future policy decisions for the Village of Park Forest.

The U.S. Mayors report that cities account for 78 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.  In his cover memo to the board, Village Manager Tom Mick said, "The U.S. Conference of Mayors has taken a position with a Climate Protection Agreement that sets forth standards aimed at reducing human impacts contributing toward global warming. After consultation with the Mayor, the attached resolution comes before the Board of Trustees for the Village to discuss, revise and consider in endorsing the Climate Protection initiative."

The resolution before the board calls attention to well-documented impacts of climate disruption include average global sea level increases of four to eight inches during the 20th century; a 40 percent decline in Arctic sea-ice thickness; and nine of the ten hottest years on record occurring in the past decade.  It further notes that the United States of America, with less than five percent of the world’s population, is responsible for producing approximately 25 percent of the world’s global warming pollutants.

The resolution contains the text of the U.S. Mayors Protection Agreement:

A. We urge the federal government and state governments to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the target of reducing global warming pollution levels to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, including efforts to: reduce the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate the development of clean, economical energy resources and fuelefficient technologies such as conservation, methane recovery for energy generation, waste to energy, wind and solar energy, fuel cells, efficient motor vehicles, and biofuels; and

B. We urge the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation that includes 1) clear timetables and emissions limits and 2) a flexible, market-based system of tradable allowances among emitting industries; and

C. We will strive to meet or exceed Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing global warming pollution by taking actions in our own operations and communities such as:

  1. Inventory global warming emissions in municipal operations and in the community, set reduction targets and create an action plan.
  2. Adopt and enforce land-use policies that reduce sprawl, preserve open space, and create compact, walkable urban communities;
  3. Promote transportation options such as bicycle trails, commute trip reduction programs, incentives for car pooling and public transit;
  4. Increase the use of clean, alternative energy by, for example, investing in “green tags,” advocating for the development of renewable energy resources, recovering landfill methane for energy production, and supporting the use of waste to energy technology;
  5. Make energy efficiency a priority through building code improvements, retrofitting municipal facilities with energy efficient lighting and urging employees to conserve energy and save money;
  6. Purchase only Energy Star equipment and appliances for municipal use;
  7. Practice and promote sustainable building practices using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program or a similar system;
  8. Increase the average fuel efficiency of municipal fleet vehicles; reduce the number of vehicles; launch an employee education program including anti-idling messages; convert diesel vehicles to bio-diesel;
  9. Evaluate opportunities to increase pump efficiency in water and wastewater systems; recover wastewater treatment methane for energy production;
  10. Increase recycling rates in municipal operations and in the community;
  11. Maintain healthy urban forests; promote tree planting to increase shading and to absorb CO2;and
  12. Help educate the public, schools, other jurisdictions, professional associations, business and industry about reducing global warming pollution.