We are a local grassroots coalition of citizens who agree climate change is a threat to our lives, and the lives of our children, and we must take action.
The DSM Citizen Taskforce on Sustainability is truly a local grassroots movement of residents and representatives from many environmental groups that came together in the fall of 2015. The UN Climate Change Conference was going to get together in Paris in December, 2015. We thought it was so important that the momentum and the resolutions on climate change that were passed by a majority of all countries on our planet in Paris continue through local action and support in Des Moines.
Following the Paris Agreement, in January we went to the city council with a large representation of residents and people from groups like the Interfaith Green Coalition, the Central Iowa Sierra Club, Iowa Conservancy, Interfaith Power and LIght, Energy and Justice for All (Unitarians), 1000 Friends of Iowa, Urban Ambassadors, and DSM Citizens Climate Lobby to ask for 2 things:
a) the formation by the city of a Citizen Taskforce on Sustainability, and;
b) to have Des Moines pledge to lower its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040.
The City Council voted to take this to their annual strategic planning meeting in August. They followed through and passed the first request for the formation of a Task Force, but not the second request at that time.
The City of Des Moines in the past has made sustainability a priority in their GuideDSM and PlanDSM plans. However, the Task Force has been determined to make climate change data and action policies important priorities for the City of Des Moines by meeting bi-weekly now for 4 1/2 years to collaborate.
We think it is important that the City of Des Moines adopt a Climate Action and Resilience Plan, and join the increasing number of communities who are taking action to mitigate and adapt to its effects.
Since the Task Force’s beginning, our work has contributed to:
- Energy Benchmarking
- After Action Flood Report 2018
- Full-time Sustainability Program Manager position