Bloomington, Ind. – On Friday, March 24, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop, Nashville Town Manager Sandie Jones, and Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton gathered at the Nashville Town Hall to announce the launch and next steps of a bipartisan, cross-sector, multi-county effort to address climate change.

A new regional alliance, Project 46, named for the state highway linking Bartholomew, Brown, and Monroe counties, will identify and pursue solutions that effectively address our shared challenges and opportunities related to climate change.

“We are at a critical juncture with regard to climate change,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Just this week, an international report warned of dire results for our planet if we do not make significant changes with regard to fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. We face serious local consequences, of course. But also, we face enormous opportunities to work together locally and improve our communities – doing our part for the planet

while also creating good jobs, sustainability, equity, and higher quality of life. We can help each other achieve those goals, and a strong regional initiative is a great place to start.”

In the coming weeks, Jones, Lienhoop, and Hamilton will call on their communities’ respective legislative bodies to adopt a common resolution indicating support for the alliance, commit to an initial three-year phase, and allocate public funds for this effort. The proposed resolution (included below) embraces four common goals:

  • Track and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as communities and as a region;
  • Coordinate local investments and leverage available state and federal funding opportunities, including, but not limited to, funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Inflation Reduction Acts;
  • Set advance initiatives. highlight successes and challenges. and promote best practices by engaging government, nonprofit, and private sector leadership;
  • Produce an annual community report to demonstrate the activities and impact of these efforts and progress towards shared goals.

Project 46 follows a joint gathering held last October that initiated a collaborative, cross-county approach to addressing climate change. Mayors Hamilton and Lienhoop hosted the first-ever Regional Climate Convening, bringing together approximately 100 critical players from Bartholomew, Brown, and Monroe Counties from the private, nonprofit, educational, and government sectors.