weather icon Partly Cloudy

Commissioners want Clark County to fight climate change

In the same week that young people across the globe joined a strike to demand action on climate change, Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones outlined a plan for the county to assert itself as a leader on sustainability issues.

Speaking on Tuesday during the commission meeting, Jones requested the local government join a coalition of counties across the U.S. rallying to combat climate change within 30 days; hire a full-time sustainability director before 90 days; and perform an audit of the county’s sustainability efforts no later than six months after the director is hired.

Jones also called upon the county to adopt a sustainability and climate action plan similar to the city of Reno, which introduced the six-year proposal titled, “Reno Resilience,” last month.

In Reno, officials propose reducing energy and water use in city facilities, employing green and energy-efficient methods on capital projects, shrinking the number of employees who commute by themselves and increasing recycling in operations, construction and demolitions, among other goals.

Jones pointed to how other local players were already setting benchmarks for sustainability including the city of Las Vegas, which is committed to 100 percent renewable energy, and the state of Nevada, which joined the U.S. Climate Alliance in March and passed Senate Bill 254 this past legislative session to offer a framework for greenhouse gas reductions.

“I think that there’s some serious opportunities for we, at the county commission, to step up and make sure that we are also making those same type of commitments when it comes to sustainability and climate change,” Jones said.

Las Vegas was recently named the fastest-warming in the U.S., a dubious distinction that Jones highlighted in a presentation during Tuesday’s meeting.

Earlier this year, he and fellow Commissioner Tick Segerblom considered their roles on the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition as a potential vehicle for addressing climate change issues, but the coalition disbanded last month.

“So I think it’s time for us to step up and take the bull by the horns and do it ourselves,” Segerblom said.

In recent years, the county has installed solar cells at the county government building and converted more than 70 percent of its cars to fuel-efficient vehicles, according to Jones.

In 2008, officials adopted the eco-county initiative to address air quality, electric vehicles and other sustainability plans but Jones said the initiative was never fully realized due to budgetary issues raised by the Great Recession and staff turnover.

One immediate role for the climate change czar would be to market the county’s ongoing efforts, which officials believe have gone overlooked.

Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said it will be key to set expectations for the sustainability director as she also warned about funding.

“It can’t come at the expense of social services, what our main goal is,” she said.

Jones said money would come from the enterprise fund, under the umbrella of the Air Quality Department, and not encroach on social service resources.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County expands no-gunfire zones

The boundary in Clark County where it is illegal to shoot guns was expanded this week to include Lovell Canyon Road and areas in the southwest and northeast portions of the Las Vegas Valley.