Asheville Prepares For Climate Change

Jun 20, 2019

The city of Asheville has released a new resource guide to help residents prepare for the effects of climate change.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

The Climate Resilience Resource Guide is the result of a collaboration between the city’s Office of Sustainability and UNC Asheville’s Environmental Modeling and Analyseis Center.  It identifies specific climate threats for each part of the city - everything from flooding to wildfires.   The guide also outlines actionable steps city officials, first responders and residents can take when an event does happen.  

“Our best management strategies that we’ve listed in our climate guide should help community members bounce back from climate threats we know are happening” says Amber Weaver, Asheville’s sustainability manager.  “We know there are floods, but perhaps this will help decrease the amount of time it takes to bounce back from a climate event.”

The city along with Buncombe county also released highlights of their plan to transition all government operations from fossil fuel to renewable energy - by 2030 and to support transitioning all of Buncombe County, including the city of Asheville, to 100 percent renewable energy by 2042.  .  Bridget Herring is Asheville’s energy program coordinator.  She says local government and citizens can only do so much.

“Even when we do everything we can on our own, we still need this to be a statewide effort” says Herring, “there are still changes we need to see at that level to be able to achieve the goal.”

The renewable energy draft report is still in the works.  Details can be found on the city and county websites.  The climate action guide can be found here.  Hard copies are available on the second floor of city hall.