VISION STATEMENT

Vision: A climate-resilient community, a reduced carbon footprint, and an equitable quality of life for all within Greater Lafayette.

MISSION STATEMENT

Mission: To build a resilient Greater Lafayette by designing policies and implementing initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect equitable quality of life for current and future generations.

Partners

City of Lafayette, Indiana logo
City of West Lafayette, Indiana logo
Tippecanoe County logo

The Plan

PHASE 1

PROGRAM INITIATION

• Conduct Chartering Session
• Establish Leadership Framework
• Develop Interagency Agreement
• Draft Vision and Mission Statements

PHASE 2

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

• Develop Communication Plan
• Identify Key Stakeholders
• Facilitate Action Plan Review Workshops
• Develop Resource Catalogue
• Prepare Schedule

Current Phase
Current Phase

PHASE 3

PROGRAM EXECUTION

• Perform Baseline Assessment
• Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
• Integrate Approach with Existing Plans
• Identify and Prioritize Potential Program Initiatives

PHASE 4

REPORT DEVELOPMENT

• Synthesize Data and Organize Initiatives
• Focus on Sustainability and Resilience
• Clean and Renewable Energy Alternatives
• Improved Transportation Options
• Reduced Waste Strategies

PHASE 5

PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION

• Measurement and Verification of Metrics
• Development of New Policies
• Engaging with Local Businesses and Industries
• Public Outreach

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FAQs

The cities of Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County are joining forces in a historic, cooperative Climate Action Plan initiative. By proactively addressing climate change through mitigation and adaptation initiatives, these three agencies are committing to collectively lead economic, social, and environmental improvements throughout the region. The benefits for making this investment include the following:

  • Improved quality of life for residents
  • New development opportunities
  • Better management of our region’s resources
  • Preservation of vital ecosystems
  • Economic resilience
  • Improved health outcomes

Collaboration and engagement from residents, local industries, institutions, and businesses will be vital in the development of a synergistic and holistic Climate Action Plan. The cities of Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County invite these groups to join the municipalities in creating a sustainable “win-win” outcome together.

Climate refers to average weather conditions over many years. For example, the climate in Minnesota is cold and snowy in the winter, while the climate in Hawaii is warm and humid all year long. Weather, in contrast, refers to a specific event or condition that happens over a period of hours or days. For example, a thunderstorm, a snowstorm, and today’s temperature all describe weatheri.

Climate change involves significant changes, over several decades or longer, in temperature, precipitation, wind patterns, and other aspects of climate. Weather varies naturally from year to year, so one unusually cold or wet year followed by an unusually warm or dry year would not be considered a sign of climate change. Climate change involves longer-term trends, such as a gradual shift toward warmer, wetter, or drier conditions.ii

Hundreds of independent lines of evidence confirm that our climate is changing. For example, scientists have documented long-term changes around the world in temperature, precipitation, sea level, and the amount of heat stored in the ocean. Especially dramatic changes are underway in the Arctic, where warming is amplified by powerful feedbacks. Reductions in sea ice, land-based ice, and snow cover, along with the thawing of permafrost, are having profound impacts in the Arctic and beyond. Rising sea levels, caused mainly by the expansion of seawater as it warms, along with billions of tons of water added to the ocean each year from melting glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets, are affecting coastal communities in many parts of the world, including places like South Florida, Chesapeake Bay, and low-lying communities along the Gulf Coast in the United States. Changes in the length of growing seasons and pollen seasons, the timing of cird migrations, and range shifts in plants and wildlife procide still more evidence for recent changes in climate. iii
Climate scientists have concluded that humans are largely responsible for the climate change that has occurred since the 1950s. Human activities – such as burning fossil fuels for energy, cultivating crops, raising livestock, and clearing forests – are releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases are being emitted faster than forests and the oceans can remove them, causing them to build up in the atmosphere. The earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.5ºF over the past century, and climate scientists estimate it will rise by another 0.5 to 8.6ºF by the end of this century, depending, in part, on future greater temperature changesover the course of a day or from season to season. But the global average temperature during the height of the last ice age was only 5 to 9ºF cooler than it is today. Relatively small changes in the planet’s average temperature can mean big changes in local and regional clilmate, creating risks to public health and safety, water resources, agriculture, infrastructure, and ecosystems. iv
Climate change endangers our health by affecting our food and water sources, the air we breathe, the weather we experience, and our interactions with the built and natural environments. As the climate continues to change, the risks to human health continue to grow. Although every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change, some populations are disproportionately vulnerable, including those with low income, some communities of color, immigrant groups (including those with limited English proficiency), Indigenous peoples, children and pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with preexisting or chronic medical conditions. vi
By making choices that reduce greenhouse gas pollution, and preparing for the changes expected in the future, we ca reduce risks from climate change. Our decisions today will shape the world we leave to our children and grandchildren. Communities can also prepare for the changes in the decades ahead by identifying and reducing their vulnerabilities and incorporating consideration of climate change risks into planning and development. Such actions can ensure that the most vulnerable populations – such as young children, older adults, and people living in poverty – are protected from health and safety threats from climate change. vii
Economic studies suggest that the longer we wait to act on climate change, the more expensive it will be. There are many technologies already available, and actions we can take today, that will help us reduce our risks. Many of the actions that we can take to address climate change will have immediate benefits, such as cleaner, healthier air, as well as significant future climate benefits. viii.
Yes – small actions really add up! There are many actions that individuals and business can take to reduce their carbon footprint and act on climate change. Simple actions such as using energy-efficient light bulbs, looking for the ENERGY STAR label on appliances and other products, recycling and composting, purchasing green power, using public transit, and bicycling or walking instead of driving can make a difference by reducing your household’s carbon footprint. As thousands of households and businesses have already discovered, improving energy efficiency in our homes and products can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also save money. EPS’s ENERGY STAR program, a voluntary initiative that drives more widespread use of energy-efficient products and practices, has saved U.S. businesses, organizations, and consumers more that $362 billion in ebergy costs since 1992 while avoiding more than 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.ix

» EPA’s Climate Change site provides details on the science and impacts of climate change, sources of emissions, a household emissions calculator, and much more.

» What You Can Do about Climate Change on EPA’s Climate Change site offers suggestions for what you can do at home, at the office, at school, and on the road to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

» Climate.gov, run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, serves as a source for news and features on U.S. and global climate, maps and data, and resources for teachers.

» NASA’s Global Climate Change site provides news, educational information, apps, images, multimedia, and other resources.

» The U.S. Global Change Research Program conducts the U.S. National Climate Assessment and conducts a wide range of other research on climate change.

» Climate Change Evidence and Causes, a report by the National Academy of Sciences, looks at 20 common questions about climate change and provides authoritative answers from leading climate scientists.

» Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment provides a series of easily understandable reports that show how a changing climate will affect state and local interests.

According to Purdue’s Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment: Indiana’s climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, more precipitation is falling and the last spring frost of the year has been getting steadily earlier. These changing climate patterns affect us all individually and affect amny aspects of our sociaty, including human health, public infrastructure, water resources, agriculture, energy use, urban environments, and ecosystems.x

For additional information, please visit www.greaterlafayetteclimate.com.

i (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2021)
ii ibid
iii ibid
iv ibid
v ibid
vi ibid
vii ibid
viii ibid
ix ibid
x (Purdue University, 2021)

Resources

There are a variety of organizations and efforts in our community that are diligently working to improve the environment. Many of these organizations provide ways for you to get involved through volunteering or provide information so you can learn more about climate change and how it will impact central Indiana. Here are some links to help you stay informed and active.  

Get In 
Touch

If you would like to get involved or have any questions, fill out the form and we will be in touch.

2021 indiana community of the year!

The Indiana Chamber of  Commerce selected Greater Lafayette as the winner of its 2021 Community of the Year Award