State environmental regulators sought input from the public this week as they craft a plan to mitigate and respond to climate change.
The state’s climate action plan is expected to include a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by roughly a quarter from 2005 levels by 2025.
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control hosted a series of public sessions to listen to citizens’ priorities on how the state should meet this emissions reduction goal and adapt to climate change.
Susan Love of DNREC’s Climate and Sustainability section says she has heard concerns about the intersection of climate change and issues such as development and land use.
“People are very interested in renewable energy,” said Love. “They’re very interested in ways that they can save energy in their own homes. They’re interested in how we can deploy electric vehicles in the state.”
Newark resident Matthew Bailey is a retired wildlife biologist. He attended Wednesday’s session at the Wilmington Public Library, and discussed the importance of building resilience to climate change with other participants.
“One of the things that we talked about that I thought was important was getting a better handle on where we’re building,” he said. “Are we building in floodplains? Are there ways we can discourage that sort of thing?”
Madinah Wilson-Anton, who is running for state representative, also attended the Wilmington session and emphasized priorities on the climate resilience side.
“I think it’s really important for us to focus on frontline communities and communities that have historically been dealing with the effects of climate change before anyone else,” she said.
More than half of Delwareans responding to a recent survey commissioned by DNREC said they’ve personally experienced or observed local impacts of climate change.
Officials hope to release the climate action plan by the end of the year.