Mayor Lori Lightfoot toured Plant Chicago in Brighton Park, a not-for-profit organization that cultivates circular economies, helping small businesses reduce waste and increase equity in their neighborhoods.
The city of Chicago budget includes $188 million in climate mitigation investments with a goal to reduce emissions in Chicago 62% by 2040.
Chicago's traffic causes a lot of pollution, but city officials said the buildings also create a large amount of emissions.
The climate action plan aims to lower costs for households, reduce waste, invest in clean energy and protect community health.
Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois. (Robert Knopes/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)
To combat emissions, the city is planting 75,000 trees.
Lightfoot said while walking through a neighborhood on the West Side, listening to residents talk about crime, she noticed a lot of asphalt, concrete and trash on the street but not much greenspace.
"What would you think about your life surroundings if you don't see trees, you don't see greenspaces," Lightfoot asked. "That’s why planting is important, and we know that trees are essential in addressing climate change."
Environmental activists said the COVID-19 pandemic had a big impact on climate action, with more priority placed on residents’ and community health.