City of Cedar Rapids looks to reduce carbon footprint with iGreenCR

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The City of Cedar Rapids voted to take a hard stance toward going green after passing the city’s iGreenCR Action Plan.

Cedar Rapids officials are looking at ways to reduce the city's carbon footprint. (Brian Tabick/KCRG)

“People think this issue is something that’s going to happen 30 years from now, but that’s not the reality," Bridget Williams, co-leader of the Sunrise Movement Cedar Rapids, said. "People are dying today."

Williams has been working with the city to come up with this plan for the last several months. Those with the city said a plan was always in the works, but this is the first time the city is taking the first steps towards fighting climate issues.

“It’s about being sustainable and meeting the crisis where it’s at,” Williams said.

Going green would mean more bike lanes, reducing greenhouse gas from city operations and investing in more renewable energy. Now, it is time to come up with a plan to get people, businesses and other entities on board to start thinking green as well.

“Now that we know how far we have to reach that’s going to color the conversation which will lead businesses, industry and community members to come together,” Eric Holthaus, sustainability coordinator for Cedar Rapids, said.

Holthaus said the city will try to reduce emissions from the city by 45% by 2030 and bring that number to zero by 2050. Holthaus said they will be looking into how much emissions the city is omitting as part of the next steps in the process of forming a plan.

Williams said she plans to make sure the city leads by example.

“We all have to help do something,” Williams said. “It can’t just be personal actions.”

Cedar Rapids is the fourth city to adopt a green initiative; Dubuque, Des Moines, and Iowa City have done so as well.