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Kansas City presents Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan to public

Climate change
Posted at 8:19 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 17:41:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s a key priority unfolding at City Hall in Kansas City, Missouri.

"We are striving to be one of, if not the most progressive and aggressive cities in the country when it comes to fighting climate change," KCMO City Manager Brian Platt said.

That’s where Kansas City’s Climate Protection and Resiliency Plan comes in, geared towards a new energy future.

"Thinking about what happened a year ago in Texas with cold weather causing burnouts and blackouts in Kansas City," Platt said. "That's something we're trying to avoid."

Included in the plan is a new solar farm at the airport, zero emission transit and more walking and bicycle access.

The city says community input is necessary for executing it.

"We welcome everyone to the table here and hope that we can include as many people as possible in this process," Platt said.

One organization vying for a seat at that table is the Sunrise Movement.

"We’re a movement of young people, we believe that this is our future," Laela Zaidi said.

The Sunrise Movement says it is actively pursuing seats on the city’s climate plan steering committee to represent all identities and lived experiences.

"I am working class, I'm a person of color and a woman," Mahreen Ansari said. She has applied to fill a steering committee seat. "Also I'm carless, I don't have a license and I don't drive and so it's like looking at how does the plan and the committee both reflect the parts of our community that are left behind and often forgotten."

The stakes are high, as stakeholders eye a city better suited for protecting against natural disasters.

"It's a plan that's going to holistically affect the entire city because for climate infrastructure, it's going to affect city infrastructure," Ansari said.

"How do we both protect ourselves from what's coming and also build resilience to improve our systems to kind of offset it [and] actually create benefits for the community?" Zaidi said.