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Lafayette Begins Climate Change Plan Discussion

Rebecca Thiele
Indiana Public Broadcasting

The Lafayette City Council has begun the process of crafting its own climate change resolution, similar to language passed by the West Lafayette Council earlier this fall.

Mayor Tony Roswarski presented that idea to the council Monday night at its monthly meeting, but says he doesn’t have specifics in place yet.

“I honestly don’t have any preconceived notions or ideas," he says. "I’m very open to hear what the community has to say and kind of move down that path accordingly.”

He hopes to get those from a series of public meetings starting in January and from conversations with local businesses. He admits his city faces the same challenge West Lafayette does – writing a non-binding resolution that spurs measurable change.

“If it just turns into a resolution that was kinda passed, but there’s not much action taken on it, that’s not really helping achieve our goal," Roswarski says. "So I want to make sure we can get some community buy-in, because we can all do little things – you know, each one of us can do something and little things, along with the other big things, to help make a difference.”

Roswarski says he hopes to learn more about what businesses in the community are already doing, and perhaps find techniques that can be adopted by more companies.

He says he’s hopeful his city’s move – along with West Lafayette’s -- can help attract more investment to a region that’ll eventually be seen as having a larger commitment to fighting climate change.

He says the city will work with Iris O’Donnell, a Purdue University student who works with the college’s Climate Change Research Institute, and who helped West Lafayette craft its plan.

West Lafayette’s language sets ambitious goals, including reducing the city’s carbon footprint by 20-percent within four years, and by another 20-percent four years after that.