BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Ten local governments and one regional coalition will partner with Indiana University in 2022 to take action on climate change. Through a program led by IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI), Indiana communities will develop and expand plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and explore green solutions to extreme precipitation and heat waves being experienced more frequently throughout the state.
The initiative is part of the Resilience Cohort, an ERI program dedicated to accelerating Indiana’s transition to a sustainable, climate-resilient future. The Resilience Cohort operates within ERI’s newly formed McKinney Midwest Climate Project.
As part of the program, IU students and staff will assist local governments as they identify actions, policies, and programs to promote energy efficiency and eliminate locally produced, heat-trapping gases. Concurrently, another group of local governments will be conducting community-wide tree canopy assessments and developing strategies to maximize the benefits urban trees and other green infrastructure provide to Hoosiers, such as increasing community resilience to flooding and high heat.
Participants in climate action planning include La Porte, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, South Bend, and Tippecanoe County. Urban green infrastructure planning participants include Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, and Zionsville. Fishers, Huntington, Lafayette, and Merrillville will take part in both tracks of the program.
“Every ambitious journey requires a roadmap,” said ERI Implementation Manager Matt Flaherty. “We commend these Indiana communities who are charting a course toward a more equitable, carbon-neutral future and utilizing green infrastructure to ensure long-term community resilience.
“Not only will these plans help lower communities’ contributions to climate change, they’ll also lead to health and economic benefits for Hoosiers, such as better air quality, lower utility bills, and green jobs.”