Sustainable Princeton announced that it has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP) for Princeton. In an ambitious move, Sustainable Princeton will partner with the Municipality to develop a set of specific strategies, actions, and goals to lower the town’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and better prepare its infrastructure to withstand the dramatically increasing impacts of climate change.
Mayor Lempert noted the timeliness of the grant, “It is a priority for the town to develop resiliency as we experience more frequent, intense storms, and flooding events. We also have a responsibility to do our part in reducing the emissions that contribute to climate change. I’m thrilled that Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has chosen Princeton to serve as a model for developing a Climate Action Plan!”
Development of the CAP will be a comprehensive process designed to leverage community expertise and ensure community buy-in. Task force groups with members representing all sectors of the community will be formed to address specific areas of focus including transportation, the built environment, land use, community design, clean energy supply, water, and waste.
Once a baseline inventory of Princeton’s GHG emissions is established, a CAP Advisory Committee will determine realistic, quantifiable goals for the town. Sustainable Jersey estimates that all municipalities in New Jersey will need to reduce emissions by 1% annually for state reduction goals to be reached.
The CAP has practical implications for a number of key issues unfolding in Princeton such as the Bike Master Plan, new proposed solutions to downtown parking and circulation, the anticipated construction of more affordable housing, and the school district expansion referendum.
Board President Matt Wasserman said, “The Climate Action Plan grant represents an amazing opportunity for our community to make a real and measurable impact on the environment. We are grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for giving Sustainable Princeton a chance to spearhead this initiative for the town, and we are eager to create a model that can be replicated by other towns across the country.”
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation award to Sustainable Princeton is the largest project-specific grant received by the organization and comes after a year in which the group’s board and staff together invested significant time and effort revamping the organizations’ vision, mission, and strategic plan.
Development of the plan begins immediately and is expected to last until December 2019, with actions rolled out during this time frame.