Sustainability and the economy are inexorably linked. Left unabated, the impacts of human-made climate change through the end of this century will cost the United States billions of dollars. According to a 2019 study by two EPA scientists, the difference in economic impact between the mid-range climate model (RPC6) and the high range climate model (RPC8.5) may account for as much as $224 billion in economic impact annually by 2090.17 According to a 2019 World Bank report on trends in carbon pricing, a carbon price range of $40-$80 per ton is necessary as of 2020 to reach the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement, while other studies have placed the full cost of carbon at $200-$400 per ton. In Skokie, every 1% in community-wide emissions reductions could generate over $980,000 in social community benefits alone, not including other economic savings or revenue generation.
Below are the specific Economy goals outlined in the 2022 Environmental Sustainability Plan. Clicking on one of them will display the list of actions to be incorporated into the Village's workplans. They are broken down into completed, in-progress, and future and progress is updated quarterly.
- Consider the current Economic Development Commission (EDC), SEAC and/or establishing a Green Economy Task Force with business, environmental organizations, and Village staff to support the evaluation and promotion of green economy potential in Skokie and the region.
- Enlist the existing EDC, SEAC or a Green Economy Task Force to conduct a study to identify economic opportunities possible through the successful implementation of the Environmental Sustainability Plan and achievement of its goals, especially those which can provide opportunity for the community’s vulnerable populations.
- Strengthen public-private economic communications in support of climate resilience, climate economic opportunities, and the goals of this plan. Effort should focus particularly on communications with disadvantaged group businesses (minority-owned, veteran-owned, economically-disadvantaged, etc.) and small businesses.
- Support climate resilience of local economy by preparing water, roads, utilities, and other public infrastructure for increased demands from climate change based on Skokie's Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, Emergency Management Plan, and state climate change data and projections.
- Continue to collaborate with local school districts and community colleges to create internships related to the green industry and sustainability.
- Facilitate a meeting with High School District 219, Oakton Community College, the Skokie Chamber of Commerce, and other partners to explore and identify training needs and opportunities related to emerging jobs related to sustainability and the goals of this plan.
- Engage with local green jobs training providers to coordinate strategic planning and encourage programs to develop local workforce capacity and assess, train, and place local residents to perform energy retrofits, solar PV installations, and other green improvements.
- Collaborate with partners to assess and improve the resilience and redundancy in power supply, telecommunications, and broadband networks to protect commerce and public safety in the event of natural or manmade disasters.
- Collaborate with the Skokie Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) and other business partners to explore the need, value, and potential of an online assessment of business’ vulnerability/resiliency. Assessment tool could include topics such as:
Available incentives or tax breaks
Zero waste improvements
Flood and flash flood mitigation
Extreme heat and weather preparedness of workforce and facilities
Energy: efficiency and renewables
- Work with Chamber, community businesses, and EDC to explore the creation of an incentivized “buy local” campaign to enhance resilience of small local businesses, particularly those with products, services, and operational policies in line with the goals of this plan.
- Establish a Green Leadership Awards program to promote Skokie as an environmentally-friendly destination by highlighting the businesses and residents that are taking steps to reduce resource consumption.
- Encourage/incentivize merchants in the community to adopt green practices. Work with the Chamber to develop a plan of action, outreach, and marketing.
- Establish GIS map to promote buying local and supporting local sustainable businesses.