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IU student presents findings of Goshen climate change study

NOW: IU student presents findings of Goshen climate change study

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GOSHEN, Ind. -- The city of Goshen is taking steps to combat climate change.

A master’s student from Indiana University presented a study Tuesday to Goshen’s city council focused on the local government’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Since May, Bronson Bast has been assisting the city in its ongoing efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. His study is part of a statewide project to learn more about climate change in Indiana.

“The presentation tonight was focused on the local government’s operations emissions, where those are coming from and the best action the city of Goshen can take to reduce those emissions,” Bast said.

Now, city leaders will use what he discovered to create an action plan to help the city curb the impacts of climate change. The results for this Goshen-specific study suggested simple things like installing LED lights along local streets to save energy.

“Looking at transitioning street lights to LEDs cuts their energy in half, looking at facilities and how to reduce energy use at some facilities in Goshen, looking into the future of how we can electrify vehicles or transition to hybrids,” Bast explains some of the recommendations he made to the city council.

Goshen’s City Forester Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley has helped Bast with his research efforts over the summer. He said he’ll be using Bast’s findings to push the city towards being more environmentally conscious.

“I will pick up the pieces, the analysis, the data, and we will begin working with the departments throughout the city, the mayor’s administration, and begin to craft responses and create an action plan,” Sawatsky-Kingsley said.

Tuesday city leaders expressed their gratitude to Bast for his work. Jeremy Stutsman, the mayor of Goshen, said he’s excited to get to work operating greener.

“There are enough reasons for us to get involved here, it doesn’t matter if you believe in climate change or not. Our budgets alone, the more we can save money, the better and most of these will save us money,” Stutsman said.

Bast hopes his findings and the findings of his peers working in other cities across Indiana will help spark more change across the state.

“There’s a national and state based narrative that small towns in Indiana don’t care about climate change and I’ve been really overwhelmed by the amount of support and the amount of care the community has put into learning about greenhouse gasses,” Bast said. “Even though we don’t have a lot of action at the federal and state level, these local actions that are happening at the city and municipal level can really add up.”

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