Editor: Today we know that the window of opportunity to address climate change is rapidly closing. We have less than 12 years to take bold, unprecedented steps to avert runaway global warming.
- Regionally, the cover of a recent Sunday Washington Post Magazine is about climate change, as were 24 other covers.
- Locally, in the summer of 2018 Loudoun newspapers reported the heavy spring rains devastated many local farmers who said that there is no “normal” weather now due to climate change.
On May 6, scientists released a landmark United Nations report that linked the loss of species to human activity (including climate change) and explained how those losses are undermining food and water security, as well as human health.
Loudoun 2040 is an excellent tool to address climate change. The addition of Sustainability Policies is a step in the right direction. While it references the outdated 2009 County Energy Strategy, it does not include specific Energy Policies. The climate crisis is caused by our addiction to fossil fuel energy. New energy policies are needed to address that addiction. 350 Loudoun and Sierra Club, Great Falls Group submitted new Energy Policies to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, to which Loudoun belongs, adopted the Regional Climate and Energy Action Plan, 2017 – 2020. It provides comprehensive guidance on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including the built environment, transportation, land use, and purchasing practices. Other jurisdictions in the Metropolitan area have adopted specific plans to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Loudoun, too, needs such plans. As the old saying goes, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” To be part of the solution, Loudoun 2040 must include energy policies to make a rapid transition off polluting fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.