Environment, Climate and Energy

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We Will's Environment, Climate and Energy pillar is intended to address the impact of weather and climate conditions on Chicago, along with the energy and environmental resources that can help residents and businesses to mitigate their impact from season to season and year to year.

Chicago weather runs the gamut, with regular precipitation in the form of rain and snow, and seasonal temperature variables that annually exceed more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When weather events become extreme, they can disrupt almost every aspect of a Chicagoan’s life.

For example, extreme rain can overburden the city’s sewer system, causing basements to flood and waterways to overflow, creating extensive damage and pollution with high repair and mitigation costs. Extreme snowfalls can preclude travel, limiting peoples’ ability to reach jobs, grocery stores, medical offices, and other essential destinations.

Likewise, extreme heat or cold can create unhealthy living conditions for vulnerable populations while putting undue pressures on the City’s power grid due to demands for air conditioning and heat. When power goes out, or if people can’t afford to pay its cost, lives are severely disrupted.

Given the widespread expectation that climate change will cause Chicago’s weather patterns to become hotter and more volatile, We Will intends to foster policies that prepare for a resilient and sustainable future. The beneficiaries will include all life forms in the city, including animals and plants.

Solutions can be both natural and man-made. Research teams will engage residents to explore how vacant land and green infrastructure can help prevent rainwater from entering the sewer system; where the lakefront and riverfront should be protected from high water levels; how much of the city’s energy sources should depend on solar or wind; and other issues to mitigate negative impacts.

In community conversations, residents expressed a desire for existing policies to be reviewed with a preference for long-term resiliency. For example:

  • Climate efforts should seek wide-ranging clean energy solutions that include power companies, public transit systems, vehicle manufacturers, and other major influencers on the environment.
  • Efforts to support and develop a greener economy should include start-up and entrepreneurial opportunities for community residents.
  • Decision-making involving environmental policies should include a broad range of constituencies and community representatives to ensure the equitable distribution of burdens and benefits.
  • Neighborhood resilience goals should include everything from local parks and community gardens to the landscaping and green building technologies used in new construction projects.

We Will's Environment, Climate and Energy pillar is intended to address the impact of weather and climate conditions on Chicago, along with the energy and environmental resources that can help residents and businesses to mitigate their impact from season to season and year to year.

Chicago weather runs the gamut, with regular precipitation in the form of rain and snow, and seasonal temperature variables that annually exceed more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. When weather events become extreme, they can disrupt almost every aspect of a Chicagoan’s life.

For example, extreme rain can overburden the city’s sewer system, causing basements to flood and waterways to overflow, creating extensive damage and pollution with high repair and mitigation costs. Extreme snowfalls can preclude travel, limiting peoples’ ability to reach jobs, grocery stores, medical offices, and other essential destinations.

Likewise, extreme heat or cold can create unhealthy living conditions for vulnerable populations while putting undue pressures on the City’s power grid due to demands for air conditioning and heat. When power goes out, or if people can’t afford to pay its cost, lives are severely disrupted.

Given the widespread expectation that climate change will cause Chicago’s weather patterns to become hotter and more volatile, We Will intends to foster policies that prepare for a resilient and sustainable future. The beneficiaries will include all life forms in the city, including animals and plants.

Solutions can be both natural and man-made. Research teams will engage residents to explore how vacant land and green infrastructure can help prevent rainwater from entering the sewer system; where the lakefront and riverfront should be protected from high water levels; how much of the city’s energy sources should depend on solar or wind; and other issues to mitigate negative impacts.

In community conversations, residents expressed a desire for existing policies to be reviewed with a preference for long-term resiliency. For example:

  • Climate efforts should seek wide-ranging clean energy solutions that include power companies, public transit systems, vehicle manufacturers, and other major influencers on the environment.
  • Efforts to support and develop a greener economy should include start-up and entrepreneurial opportunities for community residents.
  • Decision-making involving environmental policies should include a broad range of constituencies and community representatives to ensure the equitable distribution of burdens and benefits.
  • Neighborhood resilience goals should include everything from local parks and community gardens to the landscaping and green building technologies used in new construction projects.
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