Require an energy audit and disclosure of the results when older residential, commercial and multi-family buildings are leased or sold.
Increase the number of publicly available electric vehicle chargers to 20 by 2025, and also promote alternatives to car ownership through car- and bicycle-sharing services such as Zip Car and Zagster.
Expand neighborhood and backyard composting of organic materials, and reduce emissions from public and private lawn maintenance equipment.
Those are some of the recommendations in the 62-page draft version of Princeton’s Climate Action Plan, which was released last week by Sustainable Princeton.
The Climate Action Plan’s objective is for the town to reduce its 2010 greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent in 2050. The interim goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent in 2030 and by 65 percent in 2040.
In 2017, nearly 65 percent of Princeton’s greenhouse gas emissions came from the electricity and fossil fuels used to heat, cool and light Princeton’s homes and commercial buildings, according to the Climate Action Plan.
Transportation accounted for 32.3 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and solid waste – measured by the tonnage of solid waste hauled to the landfill – made up 2.1 percent.
Princeton’s Climate Action Plan, which was nearly two years in the making, was funded by a $100,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The plan will be reviewed every three years and updated every nine years.
The Climate Action Plan is divided into five sectors – energy, resiliency, land use and transportation, natural resources and materials management. Within those five sectors are 13 objectives and 83 action items developed by the 53-member committee who worked on it.
“Sustainable Princeton led the process of developing the Climate Action Plan,” said Molly Jones, Sustainable Princeton’s executive director.
“This plan is the outcome of community input and strategies that were thoughtfully considered by 53 diverse volunteers, representing community leaders and topic experts,” Jones said.
Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert said addressing climate change – hotter days and nights, heavier rains, more frequent nuisance flooding and even potentially longer dry spells – requires action on all fronts, including significant change at the local level.
“I am encouraged that Princeton’s Climate Action Plan has been developed by topic experts and community leaders. It lays out a robust and strategic call-to-action,” Mayor Lempert said.
“This document will ultimately be our road map to tackle the changes required to reduce our impact on the planet and to prepare ourselves for the ‘new normal’ of severe weather,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sustainable Princeton is taking the draft version of the Climate Action Plan on the road, with the aim of introducing it to the public and gaining their feedback after they review it.
Sustainable Princeton intends to meet with residents on May 11 at the Princeton Shopping Center on N. Harrison Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the GreenFest, and again on May 14 at Witherspoon Hall at 400 Witherspoon St., from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Public comment is being sought on the draft version of the Climate Action Plan by May 31. The plan is available for review and comment at https://www.sustainableprinceton.org.