The city and community should actively pursue the integration of renewable, large- and small-scale energy sources, such as wind, solar, and geothermal, into the community’s energy mix. City government should continue to pursue federal and state funding for renewable energy projects as well as working with local groups to create renewable-energy incentives for residential and commercial landowners.
Adapting to Climate Change
Adapting is about making choices today to be prepared for the potential changes of tomorrow, and maintaining or improving the community’s ability to withstand those changes. These choices could affect the community’s energy and food security, air quality, public health, employment opportunities, and overall economic well-being into the future. In 2007, Keene chose to actively address this issue, becoming one of the first communities in the country to create a climate change adaptation plan.
Adapting to climate change is a multi-faceted task. It includes planning to reduce the risks while also identifying and capturing opportunities. It includes adjustments in the built, natural, and social environments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; creating more energy efficient buildings; ensuring a healthy food supply; and much more. And it includes making existing infrastructure and policies more resilient to climate impacts.
Taking Steps to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change
To address the increasing impacts of climate change on the community, the City of Keene has committed to expanding climate protection efforts to include climate adaptation. In 2007, the community engaged in a multi-stakeholder progressive action planning process designed to create a Climate Resilient Community. The Adaptation Action Plan is the result of that process and provides recommendations for community policies, goals, and targets to improve preparedness in the face of predicted climate impacts. The first step Keene took in this process was to partner with ICLEI and join the Climate Resilient Communities™ (CRC) pilot program, the first of five U.S. cities to do so.
Many strategies from the 2007 Adaptation Plan have been included in this master plan with the goal of actively increasing the community’s overall resiliency. At the same time, implementing these strategies will support community goals like reducing energy use, lowering carbon footprint, creating a healthier community, and fostering a highly adaptable place to live.