Environment

Greg Fischer will officially begin his third term as mayor of Louisville Monday; his inauguration is at 10 a.m. Next week, Fischer will deliver a State of the City address and lay out his vision for the next year. One subject likely on his mind is the environment: last month, his administration announced plans to reduce the city’s greenhouse gases 80 percent by the year 2050 to combat climate change.

Fischer’s environmental record has been often criticized by activist and former mayoral candidate Jackie Green. Green is a longtime critic of Fischer; he’s been outspoken about what he believes are the mayor’s shortcomings on the environment, but he’s hopeful for Fischer’s third term. You can listen to our conversation in the media player above.

Green on his three hopes for Fischer’s third term:

“What I’d like to see him do is make walking and public transit the dominant form of urban transportation. That is one thing. A second thing I would like to see him do is to place solar panels on every appropriate municipally-owned building. That might be the birth of a municipal power company in the not distant future. A third thing I’d like to see him do is to play a national leadership role in reestablishing good passenger rail service in the Midwest. Those are the three items I’d love to see him tackle. The ‘why’ behind that is because of the context of global climate change. We do not have a lot of time to change the way we operate.”

On his expectations for Fischer’s next term:

“I’m hoping for major changes. Am I expecting? If I look back at the last eight years, his first eight years, expectations are low. If I look at the next four years and consider that he is teachable, he’s not dumb, he’s teachable. And this is a moment that we must learn and act courageously, decisively, and quickly.”

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.