The City of Tampa and Mayor Jane Castor are proud to announce the release of Tampa’s first Climate Action & Equity Plan (CAEP).
Developing a clean energy and resilient infrastructure plan was a commitment Mayor Castor made in her first term and again identified in the Resilient Tampa Roadmap. For two years, the city worked with scientists, community members, energy modelers, and staff to outline how the City of Tampa will address the challenges posed by growth and climate change while making a stronger, healthier, more sustainable, and resilient city. The plan is guided by three goals:
- Reduce Carbon Emissions
- Build Climate Ready Infrastructure
- Support All People Along the Way
The release of the plan comes on the heels of Washington, DC, and the state of Florida making historic investments in clean energy solutions and resilient infrastructure.
The new climate plan includes 143 initiatives across 10 categories, including water, land use, and energy. Much of the plan focuses on improving quality of life through infrastructure projects funded and constructed by the city itself.
“Through the actions identified in the Climate Action & Equity Plan, our city departments now have clear guidance on how to consider climate impacts and infrastructure opportunities in the Capital Planning process,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “Our stormwater projects will consider heavier and more intense rainfall, community centers will be outfitted with energy efficiency projects and solar, and we will continue to promote more sustainable transit options.”
A press conference announcing the Climate Action & Equity Plan was held at the Loretta Ingraham Community Center, the site of the city’s second installation of solar on a city building, following the city center at Hanna Avenue, which is currently under construction. Funds saved from the reduction of energy bills at the community center will assist with further enhancing recreation programs.
U.S. Representative Kathy Castor joined Mayor Castor for the plan’s release.
“Across Florida, the escalating costs of the climate crisis are squeezing our neighbors and threatening our way of life. We need relief — and solutions,” said Rep. Castor. “Mayor Castor and the City of Tampa are implementing solutions to reduce harmful climate pollution and build a more resilient community. The Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are providing vital new resources for energy efficiency, cost-effective solar power, transit, resiliency, electric vehicles and charging stations, and more. It’s exciting to see much of the work I did as Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis come to fruition in my hometown — and we are just getting started.”
The Climate Action & Equity Plan builds on a growing body of recommendations coordinated through Whit Remer, the City of Tampa Sustainability & Resilience Officer.
“Today’s release means Tampa joins thousands of cities, states, and businesses working to take advantage of the clean energy economy while also providing healthier and safer places for people to work, live, and play,” said Remer.
In addition to the Climate Action & Equity Plan, the city commissioned a report to identify options for municipal operations to run on renewable energy.
“The 100% Renewable Energy Roadmap for Municipal Operations provides critical information for the city to consider about investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the use of renewable energy credits. This information gives the city science-backed information and financially grounded challenges and opportunities associated with renewable energy goals,” added Remer.
Unique to the Climate Action & Equity Plan is the city’s partnership with the CLEO Institute, a non-profit climate education organization focused on working with communities on the frontline of climate change impacts.
Given the importance of providing a meaningful and equitable climate plan, the city used a unique process to ensure CLEO would be at the forefront of community engagement for this project. CLEO used a system of neighborhood ambassadors, listening sessions, and youth engagement to ensure that people from across every part of Tampa are represented in the plan.
Click here to read the full Climate Action & Equity Plan.