You probably noticed that the United States, led by our Cheeto-master-in-chief, pulled out from the Paris Climate Accord last week (despite it being a good thing for humanity as a whole). In response, Urbana's Mayor, Diane Marlin, has released a statement on the issue, reiterating Urbana's commitment to environmental issues.

Read the full statement below, courtesy of the City of Urbana:

Urbana Mayor Opposes Withdrawing from Paris Climate Accord

Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin is joining with dozens of mayors nationwide in decrying President Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

She also vowed to continue Urbana’s progress in reducing carbon pollution.
“I was dismayed by the president’s decision,” Marlin said. “But despite what happens at the national level, Urbana and other cities will continue our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to alleviate the impacts of global warming under the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, also known as Climate Mayors.

Marlin noted that Urbana adopted its first Climate Action Plan in 2013 and updated the plan two years later. The climate plan calls for a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the community by 2020, from a 2007 baseline.

The longer-term goal is an 80 percent reduction in Urbana’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The city’s goals are in line with the Paris Climate Accord.
“U.S. cities have led the fight against global warming for many years and we’ll assume an even greater leadership role in the wake of the president’s decision,” Marlin mayor said. “Urbana will continue to provide environmental leadership in downstate Illinois.”  

Marlin also put forward five things that Urbana residents can do to help reduce their own carbon footprint.

Those action steps include:

1.) Residents are opted into 100 percent green power through the Municipal Electric Aggregation program.  Residents can check their Ameren bill to ensure they are still enrolled with the City’s electricity supplier, Homefield Energy. The City’s Municipal Electric Aggregation page has all the details at http://www.urbanaillinois.us/residents/municipal-electric-aggregation.

2.) The City of Urbana is also running the second round of its award-winning Solar Urbana-Champaign program.  This effort creates a bulk purchase opportunity for solar energy installations, dramatically lowering the cost of going solar at homes and businesses.  To ¬¬find the next Solar Power Hour educational event, visit http://www.solarurbanachampaign.com.

3.) Most residents in Urbana are already recycling at their house or apartment and many are fertilizing their garden with composted food scraps.  Both practices reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Residents can check the city website next spring for announcements on a bulk rain barrel and compost bin sale or visit a local home improvement store today to purchase a compost bin.  The University of Illinois Extension Service provides information on how to create great compost fertilizer for your garden at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/homecompost/intro.cfm.

4.) A large proportion of Urbana commuters are biking, busing, or carpooling to work.  The City has developed an extensive bikeway network to support bike travel, with 43 miles of bikeways already constructed.  Urbana was named a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community in November 2014.  The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District offers excellent bus service throughout the metro area at a cost of $1 per ride, one-way. Annual bus passes can be purchased for $84 and a monthly pass for $20 at the Illinois Terminal, 45 E. University Ave., Champaign.  

5.) City staff also facilitates groups who want to adopt the Low Carbon Diet.  The workbook by this name walks households through a process to identify and reduce energy consumption in their home and lifestyle, hence the play on words, low carbon.  Residents interested in starting a Low Carbon Diet group can call 217-384-2381 or email srtess@urbanaillinois.us