County climate agreement stresses vulnerability assessments for marginalized groups

by Kelley Kaufmann, APRN-CNP, PMHNP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Center for Health Equity Engagement Education and Research

Cuyahoga County recently released its comprehensive Climate Action Plan. The plan is Cuyahoga County’s response to climate change and the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Of note, the plan includes a vulnerability assessment; “Prioritizing actions within communities of color and low-income neighborhoods will have a greater impact because these populations have traditionally been disproportionately affected by pollution sources and development patterns, both of which contribute to climate change.”
MetroHealth’s campus and neighborhood transformation into an EcoDistrict is highlighted as a local effort to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on health.
Plans for steps to be completed in the next year are increasing public engagement, developing a climate council, collecting data, and conducting further research.
Some of the many goals of the plan include: planting thousands of trees in the next 5 years; creation of a green bank to support and invest in clean energy projects; expand and connect the existing walk and bike trails into a county greenway; improve access to public transportation; accelerate expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure; improve timing of traffic lights to limit idling and decrease commute times; investing in solar energy projects; and having 100% renewable energy by 2050.