PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Angel Taveras on Tuesday unveiled a plan that calls for reducing Rhode Island's use of fossil fuels and preparing for the effects of climate change, saying that environmental concerns are also economic ones.
The Providence mayor's seven-point environmental blueprint calls for the state to get 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and adopts a target for reducing carbon emissions. It also seeks to expand municipal energy efficiency programs; improve access to affordable, locally grown food; and extend the life of the Central Landfill by reducing waste.
The first-term Democrat also wants to enact an organic waste master plan that would make composting mandatory for some businesses.
"Protecting our environment and sustaining our natural resources is as much a quality of life issue as an economic imperative," Taveras said after planting shrubs outside a business at an Earth Day event held by Groundwork Providence and the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island.
He said the state must prepare now for the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, flooding and coastal erosion.
"Global warming is real and it has real consequences, and we're seeing that here in Rhode Island," Taveras said.
He did not offer a price tag for any of the initiatives, but he said that many will result in savings. Energy efficient retrofitting efforts at 19 schools in Providence, for instance, have saved on average $300,000 a year, he said.
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