Ames Climate Action Plan committee to hear student input


Photo by Katherine Kealey/ Iowa State Daily

Hector Arbuckle, a senior in biology, spoke about clean energy at a Board of Regents meeting in September. Arbuckle is one of the student representatives for the Ames Climate Action Plan. 

Molly Blanco

Student representatives for the Ames Climate Action Plan will host a town hall meeting Monday to hear student input on the climate plan.

The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday in the Cardinal Room of the Memorial Union. 

The City of Ames is currently developing a Climate Action Plan that aims to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The goal is to reduce the city’s emissions by 83% relative to its emissions in 2018. 

Hector Arbuckle, a senior in biology, is one of the student representatives for the city’s climate action input committee. 

“ISU students and student input are routinely neglected in city policymaking procedures, and the city rarely holds town hall events on campus to get student input,” Arbuckle said in an email. “ISU students deserve to have a voice in city affairs, as we make up half of the city’s population.”

The meeting will begin with an overview of the Climate Action Plan. Arbuckle encouraged all students to attend the meeting even if they are not familiar with the plan.

“No prior knowledge is necessary,” Arbuckle said. “This will be an opportunity for students to learn about the creation of the climate action plan, ask questions and tell us what student interests we need to consider in the creation of the plan.”

Student input from the meeting will be used to determine interests that students would like to be prioritized in the plan, such as affordable student housing near campus. 

“Right now, the city is deciding actions to take to reach the 83% greenhouse gas reduction goals, so we are going to ask students what they feel should be included in that list of actions,” said Elizabeth Smith, a senior in environmental science and the Student Government representative for the input committee. 

The town hall meeting will explain how the city selected the 83% reduction goal and how it might be achieved. The student representatives wanted to host the meeting on campus in order to make it more accessible for students to engage with city events and learn about the climate plan. 

“Most importantly, we will be asking students what issues they think need to be taken into account during the plan’s creation,” Arbuckle said. “For example, are there certain aspects of their lives that could be made better as part of climate action?”

Arbuckle listed better bike routes or sidewalks as potential improvements that could be made possible by the plan. 

“Since the entire city’s economy will be affected by this transition, almost every issue is relevant,” Arbuckle said. 

The meeting will conclude with a discussion of how students can get involved with the plan and follow its progress.

The plan is still in progress and is scheduled to be completed in September.

For more information about the climate plan, visit the Ames Climate Action Plan website