Green New Deal News

Carlisle to host public forum on new climate action initiative

Carlisle Borough will host a virtual public forum Thursday to introduce residents to its new Climate Action Commission and the work it will do to create a climate action plan.

The virtual forum will be held at 5:30 p.m., and will include information on how residents can serve on the commission. To attend the meeting via Zoom, residents should email the borough secretary, Joyce Stone, at by 4 p.m. Thursday.

The forum will also be livestreamed on the borough's Facebook page at

In July, Carlisle Borough Council passed a Climate Action Resolution, committing the borough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26% by 2025 and 80% by 2050 using 2005 levels as a baseline. The resolution also calls for the formation of a Climate Action Commission, which is charged with creating a plan for the borough within one year of formation.

Creating and implementing a climate action plan, as well as addressing sustainability and renewable energy, was cited as a top objective during the council’s Biennial Goal Planning Session.

The commission will have four teams, each consisting of borough residents and people from the business and academic communities, as well as borough staff. The commission is chaired by councilman Joel Hicks, and its executive committee will be comprised of Deputy Mayor Sean Shultz, a member of borough staff, a resident-at-large and four commission team leads.

To set a foundation for the plan, the borough in 2019 joined the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Local Climate Action Assistance Program. This program provides tools and expertise to help municipalities develop plans to manage the risks of climate change impacts on their communities.

Out of this program, the borough joined forces with Dickinson College’s Center for Sustainability Education to measure greenhouse gas emissions in the borough. That will help the borough to identify and prioritize emission sources, develop strategies for reducing emissions, and set goals for the climate action plan.

The borough also recently partnered with Widener University’s Commonwealth Law School’s Environmental Law & Sustainability Center, which will offer its resources at no cost to help the borough draft ordinances that may be proposed while creating the plan. Through its classes on sustainability law, Widener previously developed model sustainability ordinances for use in other Pennsylvania municipalities.

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