Candidate Delgado proposes creation of a ‘National Climate Action and Resilience Program’

By John McPhaul

In order to address the issue of climate change with an effective and integrated public policy, Popular Democratic Party candidate for governor Carlos “Charlie” Delgado Altieri announced Wednesday that if elected he will create the National Climate Action and Resilience Program to address the effects of the climate crisis in Puerto Rico.

“Despite the efforts made at a government level to address such an important issue, in Puerto Rico there is no specialized entity capable of establishing the direction and executing climate public policy effectively,” the gubernatorial candidate said. “The jurisdictions that are successfully managing this climate crisis have chosen to create new governmental structures to integrate climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience actions in all governmental, municipal and community structures.”

Delgado announced that if elected he will create the Office of Climate Change and Resilience, attached to the Office of the Governor to implement and execute the National Climate Action and Resilience Program. The office will be responsible for integrating climate public policy, will serve as a liaison with municipalities and communities to provide expertise in requesting state and federal funds for the design of climate resilience plans at the local level, and will monitor and publish progress in compliance with the climate public policy to serve as a planning instrument in terms of mitigation, adaptation and research actions.

“Given the vulnerability of the archipelago of Puerto Rico to the imminent effects of climate change, addressing this issue in an integrated and responsible way, working on climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience measures at the governmental, municipal and community levels [is imperative],” Delgado said.

Delgado’s public policy on climate change also includes a Study of Public Infrastructure Vulnerability to Climate Change that will include any agency or corporation with public infrastructure in areas vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The candidate also said he will promote entrepreneurship, self-management and sustainability as aspects of economic development to address the climate crisis.

As part of his strategy, he will seek to reduce dependency on imported food, strengthening local agriculture by integrating the Agro Futuro 2030 Program along with the College of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus to increase the island’s food security overall and bring all agricultural lines to their maximum productive capacity in a period of 10 years.

Meanwhile, Delgado said he will work with island communities to strengthen them and prepare them for possible disasters. In addition, the regular dredging plans for Aqueduct and Sewer Authority dams will be investigated and supervised.

Likewise, an integral waste management plan will be promoted that includes plans and programs to reduce the generation of solid waste, the candidate said.

“We will protect critical ecosystems by increasing the conservation of high ecological value land from 16 percent today to 25 percent by 2025,” Delgado said. “We will do this by promoting acquisitions, land donations and conservation easements through non-profit organizations from the entire country.”

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