Aldermen back climate plan

Citizens for a Greener Evanston buttonEvanston aldermen Monday voted to accept the climate action plan prepared by a citizen task force that calls for a 13 percent reduction in greenhouse gas production by 2012.

Perhaps anticipating a favorable vote, activists backing the plan came equipped with a bag of extra buttons emblazoned with the plan’s goal, and distributed them to aldermen and others in the council chamber.

The vote doesn’t bind the city to take any particular action, but it suggests that many of the plan’s more than 200 recommendations are likely to win support from the council.

The city’s sustainable programs coordinator, Carolyn Collopy, told aldermen that many of the plan’s proposals could be accomplished without spending city money.

Mayor Lorraine Morton asked about the off-shore wind farm proposal, that the plan identifies as the project with the biggest pollution-reducing impact.

"Is that something that is possible to do in this area?" Morton asked.

Collopy said it would be a challenge to achieve but based on initial research she believes it is possible.

She said that more study is needed to verify initial conclusions that the wind levels are high enough and the water depths in Lake Michigan are shallow enough to make a wind energy project feasible.

She suggested that Evanston might partner with the City of Chicago — which is using renewable energy as a key theme in efforts to attract the 2016 Olympics to the city.

The plan envisions that the wind farm would be built by a private company that would be able to profit from the sale of the energy produced.

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