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Jane Castor wants Tampa to go 100% clean energy by 2045

The plan calls for a new Office of Sustainability and Resilience.

Mayoral candidate Jane Castor wants Tampa to be 100 percent sustainable energy by 2045.

On Thursday, the city’s former police chief released a sustainability and resiliency plan that she would implement if elected Mayor.

Among other things, Castor’s proposal calls for a new Office of Sustainability and Resilience that would focus on analyzing and recommending actions to make city-owned assets fully sustainable.

Her solutions also focus on stormwater management, coastal resilience and environmental justice.

“As your next Mayor, I will develop and implement sustainability policies that protect Tampa’s air, water, and natural resources. Tampa is blessed with an abundance of productive ecosystems, outdoor recreation opportunities, and miles of beautiful coastline” Castor said. “As Mayor, I will promote policies that conserve natural resources, ensure our coastline is resilient to storms, make sure we do our part to reduce harmful air water and air pollution and work to develop healthy neighborhoods for all Tampa residents.”

Under her plan, Castor and her staff would create a climate action and resilience plan that would evaluate Tampa’s risks and develop policies to address them. The new office she plans to create would also be charged with reviewing existing sustainability policies.

Castor is calling for all of Tampa’s assets to be converted to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2045. That includes city-owned buildings and fleets.

The plan would consider coastal resiliency solutions like living shorelines and green infrastructure. Castor also said she would ensure funding for stormwater upgrades was secured to protect the city against sea level rise.

Environmental justice is often overlooked in talks about climate change and sea level rise. But Castor’s plan calls for protecting the city’s most vulnerable citizens from harmful effects of a changing climate by expanding green space in areas where appropriate. Expanding the city’s park space reduces pavement and provides better drainage, which could reduce flooding.

Castor’s plan also calls for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority to switch its fleet to zero-emission buses. Her transportation plan calls for increased transit access in vulnerable neighborhoods.

Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen who is one of six candidates also running for Mayor also released a climate action plan Thursday with some similar suggestions.

Castor missed a Tampa Bay Sierra Club candidate forum Wednesday night in which her opponents addressed climate plans. Castor provided a written statement apologizing for the scheduling conflict and announcing her plan to convert the city’s assets to complete renewable energy.

Election Day is March 5 with a runoff, if necessary, April 23.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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