Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras on Tuesday -- Earth Day -- unveiled a seven-point environmental proposal that he called a blueprint for making Rhode Island the national leader in environmental stewardship.
“I was proud to be the first mayor in the history of our state to create a dedicated Office of Sustainability within city government,” Taveras said in a statement. “We’ve had great success transforming city-owned lots into working urban farms, making energy efficiency investments in schools and homes across our city and reducing childhood blood lead levels – but there is much more that can be done.”
The Providence mayor pointed to the threat posed by climate change and coastal erosion in detailing his proposal. Here's how Taveras outlined his seven-point plan:
· Achieve 40% renewables by 2030. Reduce Rhode Island’s reliance on fossil fuels by investing in renewable sources of energy.
· Ensure access to fresh, local, affordable food. Encourage development of community gardens and urban farms, and foster local agriculture development through state procurement policies.
· Expand Green & Healthy Homes Initiative. Ensure housing stock is energy efficient, safe and healthy.
· Support local sustainability efforts. Develop strategies for municipalities to save tax dollars and reduce carbon footprint through investments in energy efficiency.
· Enact a comprehensive organic waste master plan. Create Rhode Island’s first coordinated plan to divert food and organic waste to composting operations.
· Extend the life of the Central Landfill. Cultivate and recruit recycling businesses to help reduce waste and turn recyclable goods in new products.
· Reduce the state’s carbon footprint and prepare for climate change. Direct state agencies to work together to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Taveras held a news conference to discuss his plan following a green infrastructure program staged by the Environmental Justice League of Rhode lsland.