Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego used her city as an example Thursday during a discussion on how local governments can help guard against the impacts of climate change. The discussion took place online and focused on how local governments can help protect their communities from the effects of climate change.
Gallego referred to the current time as “an exciting time for Phoenix,” despite the many issues that are plaguing the city, such as a severe drought, falling water levels, and rising temperatures that are predicted to treble the frequency of days above 105 degrees in the coming decades. Despite these issues, Gallego referred to the current time as “an exciting time for Phoenix.”
She made this remark while participating in a roundtable discussion on the topic of the effects of climate change on cities that was organized and hosted by Route Fifty, a journalistic organization that focuses on the management of state and local governments.
The meeting drew attention to the reality that many cities are already suffering from the repercussions of climate change, including droughts, heat waves, floods, and hurricanes. These are only some of the effects. It was planned that St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch would accompany Gallego, but he ended up being preoccupied on Thursday with the clean-up activities following Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 hurricane that wreaked havoc on Florida earlier this week.
According to Gallego, the city of Phoenix has challenges in the form of wildfires, drought, and high temperatures. According to her, the city of Phoenix is rising to the challenge by engaging in activities such as the planting of trees and legislating that all newly constructed buildings be more energy efficient. Because of the city’s dedication to environmentally friendly technologies and the broad availability of electric vehicles, she referred to Phoenix as “Electric Valley.”
Sandy Bahr, the director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, believes that the investments that the city is making right now are a significant start in the right direction, despite the fact that the city might be doing more to prepare for the effects of climate change.
Speaking in a general sense because she was not present for Gallego’s address, Bahr remarked that Phoenix’s climate action plan is “a substantial improvement over past plans” and that it includes a variety of programs that can assist the city in meeting its climate goals. Bahr did not attend Gallego’s speech.
The city of Phoenix, as well as the rest of the state, are at risk for a number of climate-related issues, some of which include the continuation of a drought that has lasted for 22 years, rising temperatures, and a deteriorating water shortage in the Colorado River and its reservoirs.
Cynthia Campbell, who works as a consultant for the city of Phoenix on matters pertaining to the management of its water resources, has asserted that the city can act as an example for other municipalities due to the length of time that it has been affected by droughts.
When Campbell made the observation that “Because we are in a desert, we look at drought not as something that is very remarkable but more of a given,” he expressed it the best.
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Michael C. Morgan, Assistant Secretary of Commerce at NOAA, issued a stern warning that the Valley has a great deal more to prepare for in the years to come. Morgan, who was also present at the event with Gallego, made a reference to a federal climate tool that makes projections that the city will become even hotter as the amount of carbon emissions increases.
At the moment, “you have roughly 46 days a year that it’s above 105,” Morgan said. “That’s a lot of days.” “By the middle of the century, you can anticipate that 80–90 days out of the year will have temperatures of 105 degrees or more.” Morgan issued a warning that when the city warms up, the heat will have an especially harmful impact on communities of color, individuals who are old, and people who are facing homelessness.