The Biddeford Climate Task Force is pleased to release our first draft climate action plan and is seeking public comment. This action plan is the result of effort by the task force, with local and regional partners, over the past three years to develop a guide that will help Biddeford mitigate and adapt to climate change.
In 2020, Biddeford City Council declared a Climate Emergency and created the Biddeford Climate Task Force with the mandate to develop this plan. In it there are 48 strategies spread over five categories that will help us reduce energy use, protect vulnerable areas of the city, manage risk, and educate Biddeford residents about the many ways to help reach the goals outlined here. Strengthening Biddeford's resiliency is the primary objective of the plan.
While the task force received assistance from many sources, we are especially grateful to Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission for its leadership in creating this plan.
Biddeford is already experiencing climate change. The time for action is now.
The work of the Biddeford Climate Task Force will culminate in our Climate Action Plan. Over the next 12 to 18 months we will work to develop strategies to mitigate and adapt to the most pressing effects of climate change.
In October 2020, the City Council passed a Climate Emergency Resolution for the City of Biddeford. The Resolution highlighted the expected environmental effects of a warming planet and ocean, including a rising sea level and more frequent and severe coastal storms, and their projected economic costs, including damage to infrastructure, loss of coastal properties, loss of tourism, reduced fisheries, and negative health effects due to longer, warmer seasons.
Scientific consensus is that the effects of climate change will be irreversible within a short window of 7-15 years, and these effects will continue to worsen with time. The Mayor established the Climate Task Force to create an action plan that focuses on adaptation, mitigation and sustainability strategies that address the real effects of climate change that threaten our coastal community.
Further, City Council demonstrated leadership and commitment to addressing climate change by adopting, by Resolution, carbon emission reduction targets. This Resolution was approved at Council's December 6, 2022 meeting.
The Biddeford Climate Task Force will continue to develop effective communication strategies regarding:
Strengthening awareness of the Task Force
General education and awareness about climate change and its effects