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Mesa Adopts Climate Action Plan With Aspirational Goals

Mesa has adopted a climate action plan to lower the city’s climate impact and plan for sustainable growth.

The City Council voted this week to adopt the plan, which contains aspirational goals for reducing Mesa’s carbon footprint, prioritizing renewable energy and diverting waste from landfills.

Mesa Mayor John Giles said it's imperative for society to be tackling these issues at the city level. "This is about integrating sustainable practices into all the departments of our city, and adopting aspirational goals, but at the same time realistic goals that are obtainable,” he said.

Giles said environmental scientists employed by the city have developed a baseline for Mesa’s current carbon footprint.

“We have some Ph.D.-level scientists already on our city staff," Giles said. "So that was the first thing we did — establish what we’re doing now so that we can identify ways that we can get better at it.”

The plan consists of aspirational goals including achieving 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality by 2050.

Giles noted much of the conservation can come from expanding current sustainable practices in Mesa like curbside recycling and converting food waste into fuel for city fleet vehicles.

The Show spoke with Mesa Mayor John Giles to learn more about the plan.

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.