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Boise officials set goal of being carbon neutral by 2050

June 17, 2021 GMT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Officials have approved a plan for Boise government to be carbon neutral by 2035 and the entire city by 2050 to fight climate change.

The Boise City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the Climate Action Roadmap. The plan includes a goal for government to use only clean electricity by 2030.

Carbon neutrality means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero.” The goal is to reduce carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas warming the atmosphere.

“Tonight is truly a historic moment for our city,” Mayor Lauren McLean said after the vote. “We’re the generation that must solve the climate crisis because our health and economy depend on us doing this now. Boise will be a climate innovation leader, and we will rise to the challenge of this moment.”

Boise has about 225,000 residents and is the capital of Idaho. Benefits of the plan include improving human health and growing a climate-friendly economy, officials said.

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Ways for the city to meet carbon neutrality include such things as switching to electric vehicles or sequestering carbon dioxide by planting trees that store carbon. The plan also calls for using less energy, traveling less and reducing waste.

“It is a detailed plan with attainable goals,” Councilman Patrick Bageant said. “It’s not just a declaration of a wish list, it’s an actual plan that we will begin to execute.”

“We have the ability to hit some of these goals sooner if people jump in and get on board,” Councilman Jimmy Hallyburton said. “I see this as a great opportunity for other folks, whether those are organizations or individuals, to say, ‘Yes, we love what you’re doing and we want to be a part of it.’”

Conservation Voters of Idaho, which backed McLean’s run for mayor in 2019, said in a statement: “We applaud the mayor and city council for this bold and exciting new plan and for making concrete steps in fulfilling their campaign commitments to Boise voters.”