You are here: Home The Sustainable Cities & Counties Blog archive 2009 December
Personal tools

December

Sub-archives

Breaking: A New Senate Climate Bill Framework, and the Implications for Local Governments

by Art von Lehe, ICLEI USA Policy Analyst Dec 10, 2009

Senator John Kerry

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Senators Lindsey Graham, John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman today released a four-page framework for building bipartisan consensus in the U.S. Senate for comprehensive climate and energy legislation. This post covers the international implications of new Senate framework, along with an analysis of the domestic implications localities.


The International Implications

Senator Lindsey GrahamThe Senators released their framework in a timely manner, as it shows continued momentum in Congress to move towards a climate bill. For a global climate treaty to work, the United States has to be engaged in a real way with the international community and thus the President will need to know that his possible commitments made this month in Copenhagen can be adhered to back home. Therefore, the coordination between the President and the Congress is an essential element in working to solve the climate crisis.

Senator Joseph LiebermanIn the Senators’ letter to the President, they cite the work already done in the House and the Senate – which, according to ICLEI USA’s analysis of both the House and the Senate bills and our recent webinar on the subject, will have tremendous implications for sustainable local government practice. Those implications would include: funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program, funding for clean energy deployment and efficiency, funding for adaptation, and an impressive roster of grants programs and technical assistance that will empower local governments as they address the causes and impacts of our changing climate.

The international community is abuzz over the release of the Senators’ framework.  While ICLEI USA’s delegation of Local Government elected officials are currently traveling to Copenhagen to advocate for the inclusion and empowerment of local governments in the next international climate treaty, many local governments are working in the same capacity here on the domestic front to ensure that localities are included as central actors in domestic climate policy as well.

What the New Framework May Mean for Local Governments

Whatever the result of COP15 in Copenhagen (please see our COP 15 Briefing Book), the hard work that local governments continue to pioneer and achieve at the local level will be impacted by a potential bill at the federal level.  What does the framework tell us about the future of the interplay between federal and local climate and clean energy policy? 

  • Putting a Price on Pollution: It appears from the language in the Senators’ letter that they are still interested in pursuing a “Cap and Trade Program” where greenhouse gas (GHG) polluters would be required to either lower their emissions or obtain permits (called “allowances”) on the open “carbon market.”  These “allowances” would act like stocks and therefore be worth value.  Under both the current House and Senate versions, local governments would receive a portion of the value generated from the Carbon Market, with the House routing the funding through the states and the Senate giving direct funding to localities through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program.
  • Energy Independence and Consumer Protections: The Senators address the national security issues surrounding energy by proposing increased domestic production of oil and gas. simultaneously meeting our needs with efficiency and conservation.  The Senators are also considering measures that would protect consumers from rises in energy prices, and a host of energy efficiency options. Efficiency and conservation measures are a major piece of sustainable local practice, and the current House and Senate versions include funding and programs that would further empower localities implementing such provisions.
  • Evening the Playing Field: Business and industry now faces a tremendous amount of uncertainty when it comes regulation of GHGs; the EPA is moving forward on creating regulations and there is a patchwork of different cap and trade systems showing up in the US from California to the Northeast. 
  • Traditional Power Sources: While these topics remain bitterly controversial, most experts agree that the absence of nuclear and coal provisions in a climate and energy bill would result in a non-starter.  The Senators have called for financing to build a new fleet of nuclear power plants; and for the development and deployment of so called “clean coal” technology and for technology to capture and store the GHGs produced from coal plants.  Such provisions could have implications in the future for municipal utilities.
  • Green Jobs: One of the oft cited objections to climate legislation is the fear of loosing American jobs.  The Senators address this by alluding to incentives for domestic manufacturing jobs to stay domestic; and they discuss the further development of a domestic clean energy manufacturing sector.  China is currently outpacing the United States and establishing itself as a world leader in this emerging market – the Senators intend to create an environment in the US that would foster growth in this important new sector.  This could have important positive implications for localities hit hard by the new global trade treaties that have sent many jobs overseas compounded by the recent economic recession.
  • Offsets: The Senators address the concerns of the agricultural community by talking about their interest in establishing “carbon offset” opportunities.  Under the existing House and Senate bills, agricultural offsets are included; lumped in with those provisions is the opportunity for “urban forestry” projects to receive funding credits in return for projects that increase the tree canopy while lowering GHGs.
  • Global Cooperation: The Senators call for global partners who engage in GHG reduction strategies that are measurable, reportable and verifiable.  As the world looks to Copenhagen for results, ICLEI USA’s delegation will be advocating for a strong global deal that includes the role of local governments that have years of experience measuring their GHG emissions with ICLEI’s software tools (see our new report, Measuring Up).

 

The Senators close by remarking on their inspiration from the hard work that has already been completed in addressing climate change.  When ICLEI USA and Climate Communities recently hosted Local Climate Action Week, Senator Kerry spoke to the local elected officials gathered in the historic Kennedy Caucus Room and said, “We owe you a debt of gratitude…You are way ahead of Washington.”
 

Read more »

The Finale to a Year of Climate Progress

by Art von Lehe, ICLEI USA Policy Analyst Dec 08, 2009

Thermometer Temperature Rising

It’s December 2009, and we’ve seen a year of unprecedented progress on climate action from all levels. At the local level we’ve seen continued progress as evidenced in ICLEI’s new report, Measuring Up, and our membership growing at a rapid pace. At the state level we’ve seen similar momentum, at the federal level we’ve seen serious proposals from both Houses of Congress with many important opportunities for local governments (see our comparative analysis of federal legislation). And at the international level we are witnessing progress toward a global agreement on climate change.

Much work has been leading up to the 15th annual Conference of the Parties or “COP15” in Copenhagen ( see our COP 15 Briefing Book). On the first day in Copenhagen we saw the EPA release its “endangerment finding,” declaring GHGs pose an endangerment to public health and welfare – a necessary first step toward the EPA regulating GHGs under the Clean Air Act. This EPA announcement provides added momentum to a very serious minded President Obama who is planning to attend the final days of the Conference in Copenhagen with US commitments that are in line with the climate bill that passed out of the House (see our analysis of the House bill). For a 101 on what all this federal climate policy means for local governments, please see this recording of ICLEI’s webinar.

ICLEI is attending COP15 in full force (see how to track our updates). We are advocating for a strong agreement that will empower local governments as essential actors in the global challenge we face. Local governments are climate policy power centers – and therefore ICLEI has been working hard to ensure that localities are included in the text of the next international treaty that will define the international climate action playing field after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

ICLEI is a recognized and trusted central local government voice within the international community. We have been facilitating the local government presence at international climate conferences and negotiations since 1995 – and continue to be the focal point – this year alone we worked to credential over 1,200 individuals to attend the Conference in Copenhagen.

ICLEI has been working strategically at the national and international level for years to ensure that local governments are included in the successor to the Kyoto Protocol. The main points local governments and ICLEI are concerned with in the next international treaty are:

The Shared Vision
Must include a specific reference that Parties will seek the active participation of all stakeholders, be they governmental, including subnational and local government, private business or civil society, including the youth and addressing the need for gender equity.

Adaptation
Enhanced action on adaptation and its means of implementation must be undertaken at all levels of government, including local.

Mitigation
Local and sub-national governments are (governmental) key stakeholders for enhanced action on mitigation, both in developed and developing countries. The Copenhagen outcome or subsequent agreement must recognize the role of local and sub-national governments.

Finance
International mechanisms of financial support, both public and private, must allow enabling environments for investment to support adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer, capacity building at local and sub-national level in developing countries.

Technology Transfer and Capacity Building

  • Technology Transfer - Enhanced action on technology by Parties should be guided by the principle of seeking the broad participation of stakeholders at national, local and community levels.
  • Capacity-Building - Local governments in developing countries require funded enhanced action on capacity-building though appropriate means.


We will keep you up to date with our people on the ground in Copenhagen, which includes ICLEI USA staff and ICLEI Global staff from all over the world and a delegation of ICLEI USA local elected officials who will be landing in Europe next week to take the message from the front lines of climate action in the US to the world:

“Locals are leading the way – and looking for strong federal and international partners to achieve swift, strong, complementary and collaborative action to set and achieve the emissions reduction targets called for by scientists.”

 

Read more »

ICLEI's Day 1 Download From Copenhagen

by Don Knapp Dec 07, 2009

Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Deputy Secretary General provides an update on the first day of local government advocacy at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. ICLEI will be on site for the full two weeks to advocate for the recognition of the role of local governments in climate change.

Read more »

Announcing ICLEI USA's New "Measuring Up" Report

by Don Knapp Dec 07, 2009

ICLEI USA Measuring Up Annual Report Cover 2009ICLEI USA is proud to release our new Measuring Up Report, which offers a detailed look at the impressive goals and climate action progress of our U.S. local government members.

• View the emissions-reduction targets of each ICLEI USA member local government, and our projection of cumulative 2020 and 2050 emissions reductions across the entire ICLEI USA Network.

• Read about 2009's biggest local action trends, and success stories from local governments across the U.S. -- from Olympia's Green Fleet Program to Gainesville's solar feed-in tariff and Columbia's biogas-to-energy.

• Measuring Up also serves as ICLEI's 2009 Annual Report, which tracks the impressive progress of ICLEI USA. Get the 2009 highlights from across your region and beyond.

View It Now green large icon

 

Read more »

Newspapers Worldwide Sound the Alarm

by Annie Strickler Dec 06, 2009

Headlines of Global Warming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might have picked up your newspaper this morning and quickly skimmed through the editorial pages or perhaps overlooked them entirely for the weekend sports update or the latest celebrity gossip. But readers of 56 newspapers in 45 countries around the world were privy to a historic editorial about the urgent need for international negotiators to reach an agreement at the climate negotiations in Copenhagen over the next two weeks. Indeed, these newspapers (listed below) took an unprecedented step by publishing the same editorial and running it on the front page.

Earth Alarm Clock

Words of Wisdom

The words in the mass editorial are compelling and inspirational. And they come just in the knick of time. Here are some of the most powerful excerpts:

 

Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security…

The transformation will be costly, but many times less than the bill for bailing out global finance — and far less costly than the consequences of doing nothing…

Overcoming climate change will take a triumph of optimism over pessimism, of vision over short-sightedness, of what Abraham Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature. It is in that spirit that 56 newspapers from around the world have united behind this editorial. If we, with such different national and political perspectives, can agree on what must be done then surely our leaders can too.

The politicians in Copenhagen have the power to shape history's judgment on this generation: one that saw a challenge and rose to it, or one so stupid that we saw calamity coming but did nothing to avert it. We implore them to make the right choice.

 
Read more »

Obama’s Schedule Change Is Much More

by Annie Strickler Dec 06, 2009

Mayor Hays color photoOur friends at Grist are facilitating an expert panel leading up to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, and ICLEI USA’s own Mayor Patrick Hays of North Little Rock, Arkansas (our Board President and one of our on-the-ground representatives at COP15) is one of those experts.

When President Obama announced last week that he would change his schedule to attend the Copenhagen talks on December 18 to help seal a deal, Grist asked the experts the meaning of this announcement.

From Mayor Hays:

There are many ways to analyze President Obama’s Copenhagen schedule change. But, for mayors and local government elected officials like me who have been on the frontlines of the United States’ response to climate change for years, the symbolism and promise alone make it worth the long wait we’ve endured. I feel a sense of relief, hope, pride and anticipation.

There has already been significant leadership in the United States on climate and energy issues – it has just been in city halls, state houses and board rooms. Together with governors, CEOs, college students, church leaders and many others local governments have helped sustain the momentum for international climate action that has brought us to this point. And we did that, until now, in spite of Washington, D.C.

The United States has long been criticized for lack of action at the national level, but President Obama’s actions over the past year culminating in this historic decision have changed the game dramatically. The game – effectively combating global warming – has always been winnable, we just didn’t have the all the right players on the field. We now have a star quarterback in the lineup, and the odds for victory – for a healthy planet and new clean energy economy – are stronger than ever.

Read more »

Think Global, Act Local

by By Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York Dec 06, 2009

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

[Note: This article and the image of Mayor Bloomberg are reprinted
from the UNFCCC website, where they first appeared.]

This month’s global summit in Copenhagen will bring together world leaders and national delegations who will work together to develop a meaningful framework for combating climate change. Although the prospects for achieving a binding international treaty are unclear, there is still reason to be hopeful. The Copenhagen gathering will include not just representatives of national governments, but also mayors from many of the world’s largest cities, regional government officials, CEOs, labour leaders and activists representing a broad range of issues. These leaders will participate in hundreds of additional events that are not part of the international negotiations.

The most important action on climate change is already happening outside of the official actions of national governments. Many companies have realized that being carbon-efficient is smart business. Entrepreneurs recognize the growing demand for carbon-efficient products and technologies. Labour unions see the growth potential of green jobs. And local and state elected officials understand that voters care about climate change and expect their cities and states to do their part.

That’s why seven western states and four Canadian provinces have joined together to form a carbon-trading market, as have ten states on the east coast (including New York). And it’s why cities from Los Angeles to Boston, and Miami to Seattle, have taken bold steps to address climate change through transportation policy, energy efficiency and urban planning.


Many cities, because of their density, have relatively small carbon footprints. In New York City, less than half of all residents own an automobile and we use less than half the electricity per year of the average American. But we recognize that every city has a responsibility to take action – and also that the actions we take will not only help fight climate change, but also have other major long-term benefits.

For instance, by adopting policies that reduce our carbon emissions, we can cut our energy costs, improve our air quality and fight obesity. Around the world, economies with lower carbon intensity have longer life expectancies compared to economies (of similar income levels) with higher carbon intensity. Fighting climate change will not only help save the planet; it will help save lives.

To achieve both goals in New York City, we launched “PlaNYC,” a long-term sustainability agenda that holds city government accountable for meeting interim goals. For instance, we’ve already begun taking steps to achieve our PlaNYC goal of reducing municipal government’s output of greenhouse gases 30% below 2006 levels by the year 2017, and to reducing the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030. The plan includes 127 initiatives that range from transit-oriented development to revitalized parks, to hybrid taxicabs, to building our resilience to climate change.

One of our most important PlaNYC priorities is making our existing buildings more efficient, because 75% of our overall carbon emissions are related to energy consumed in buildings. Working with our City Council and its leader, Speaker Christine Quinn, we have developed a “Greener, Greater Buildings Plan,” a comprehensive package of legislation to ensure that existing buildings take cost-effective steps to become more efficient.

The plan includes a number of major steps forward, such as:

(1) Creating a local New York City energy code will allow us to tailor energy standards to our larger buildings and ensure that as buildings perform renovations they will get more efficient;
(2) Requiring large commercial buildings to retrofit their lighting over the next 15 years and install submeters will address the majority of electricity use that takes place in tenant-controlled spaces;
(3) Requiring building owners to benchmark their energy usage online to allow owners and potential purchasers to compare buildings’ energy consumption, which will reward the most efficient buildings; and
(4) Requiring each building to conduct energy audits once every decade and implement energy-efficient maintenance practices, which will realize major savings and identify opportunities for investments that will pay for themselves. All told, this comprehensive approach will have the equivalent impact of making all of Oakland, California carbon neutral.

As important as an international framework is, these initiatives show that climate change must also be fought at the local level. Across the country, building codes are typically regulated by state and local laws. The same holds true for energy systems and zoning codes. All have a major impact on carbon emissions, as do private investment decisions by businesses. And it’s not the federal government, but labour unions and colleges that run our most effective training programs. Regardless of what national policies are put in place, we cannot expect national governments to solve the climate change problem on their own.

In Copenhagen, national government leaders will have an opportunity to converse with many other participants, and I hope the dialogue will be a two-way street. Because for any international climate change agreement to be a success, it will have to recognize the crucial role cities, states and private organizations must play in achieving national emissions targets. National programmes must empower cities to play the roles they are best-suited for, and provide the resources and policy support that cities need to help deliver national targets.

Traditionally, side events at U.N. summits provide inspiration to national delegations. In Copenhagen, these side events should be viewed as much more than that. National leaders should look to them not only to draw inspiration, but also to form stronger partnerships. The success of the summit rides both on the shape and scope of an international framework, and also on whether those on the front lines of the climate change battle – local and regional elected officials, business leaders and issue activists – are empowered to help shape solutions.

Read more »

How Should Local Governments Respond to Climategate?

by Justus Stewart, ICLEI Program Associate Dec 05, 2009

Warning sign with question mark

As more people read the news headlines about Climategate, they’re naturally concerned. Already some of ICLEI’s local government members have heard calls from constituents to slow or stop work on climate action until more details emerge.

What is the appropriate response to these concerns? How can local climate leaders clearly demonstrate that this work remains as urgent as ever? By restating the solid facts about climate change and climate action, which remain unchanged by the Climategate e-mails. Local government staff: Feel free to pull information from this blog post to help craft your own response.


The Background on the Controversy

Here’s the quick recap on all the fuss: A few weeks ago, an unknown hacker illegally stole thousands of emails and documents from a server at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), located in England. The materials were leaked to press around the world, and climate change skeptics immediately branded them as evidence of scientific collusion and manipulation of data. The resulting press coverage focused on the possibility of a scandal, dubbing it “Climategate.”

The e-mails in question are conversations between climate scientists on global warming, scientific data, the peer review process, and other topics central to their field. They also contain correspondence discussing prominent climate change skeptics and specific scientific journals. The high level of controversy stems from accusations that these scientists deliberately colluded to manipulate or withhold data.


Why This Doesn’t Change the Game

The major scientific bodies and institutions around the world all agree that climate change is real, that human activity is a major contributing factor, and that is represents a grave threat to our civilization.

In a 2009 poll of more than 3,000 earth scientists, 82 percent agreed that human activity is a significant contributor to changing average global temperatures; among climatologists who actively publish work on climate studies, the consensus was 97.4 percent. Also in 2009, the U.S. Global Change Research Program concluded that “global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.” They joined the consensus conclusions of the global science community, who called the physical evidence of global warming “unequivocal” in the 2007 IPCC report.

In November of this year, a group of scientists--many of whom are authors of the IPCC reports--released the “Copenhagen Diagnosis,” which updates the 2007 IPCC report with new data on climate change. Their conclusions illustrate the need to speed up, rather than slow down, action on climate. The found that since the last IPPC report was released:

  • Satellite and direct measurements now demonstrate that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass and contributing to sea level rise at an increasing rate.
  • Arctic sea-ice has melted far beyond the expectations of climate models. The area of summer sea-ice melt during 2007-2009 was ~40% greater than the average projection from the 2007 IPCC Report.
  • Sea level has risen more than 5 centimeters over the past 15 years, ~80% higher than IPCC projections from 2001. Accounting for ice-sheets and glaciers, global sea-level rise may exceed 1 meter by 2100, with a rise of up to 2 meters considered an upper limit by this time.
  • In 2008 carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were ~40% higher than those in 1990. Even if emissions were halted at today’s levels, within just 20 years the world will have lost the opportunity to limit warming to less than 2 degrees C.

The report concludes that “global emissions must peak then decline rapidly within the next five to ten years for the world to have a reasonable chance of avoiding the very worst impacts of climate change.”

 

What Do the E-mails Really Show?

These leaked emails demonstrate many things – mostly the carelessness that can enter into interpersonal communications when an author assumes their words are private. But they do absolutely nothing to change the basic science behind climate change, and therefore nothing to alleviate the urgency of addressing it. As the Reuters news service recently concluded: Hacked climate e-mails awkward, not game changer.

A few other things to keep in mind:

  • Most of the leaked materials are email fragments, lacking any context. Inferences about the authors’ intention or meaning should not be drawn from incomplete sources. Some of the scientists in question have since responded to these accusations and provided some context for their comments.
  • The emails come from several years’ worth of conversations and may therefore seem to say different things depending on when they were written. For example, some emails expressing doubt about climate models or data turn out to be old, and have since been put to rest.
  • A potential scandal involving climate change science and colluding scientists makes for great news, which partially explains why this story spread so quickly. There is an ongoing investigation at the CRU to determine whether any scientists behaved unethically, and more investigations of specific scientists are likely. This is a sensational story, but more time is needed to determine whether it is indeed evidence of a scandal, or simply much ado about nothing.
  • One hears very different interpretations of this story based on the source. It is important to be mindful of the political bent of the news source when determining the credibility of the story.
  • There is a good initial overview of this story from Real Climate, a website maintained by climate scientists with firsthand knowledge of the science and of the people involved. (Disclosure: one of the site’s contributors is also the author of some of the emails.)

 

More Resources

Here are a few more resources for understanding what happened, what it really means, and what is being done about it:

Read more »

Local Action Roundup

by Don Knapp Dec 03, 2009

Read more »

Finally, a Sustainability Planning Toolkit for Cities and Counties

by Don Knapp Dec 02, 2009

Sustainability Planning Toolkit Banner

ICLEI is driving a movement of sustainable cities and counties, and today we shifted into third gear. Our groundbreaking Sustainability Planning Toolkit has been in the works for more than a year, and this morning it hit the e-mail inboxes of our 600 U.S. local government members, who have been long been eager for such a resource.

With ICLEI’s toolkit, jurisdictions of all sizes can now follow a proven, straightforward, and flexible process to create long-term sustainability plans that bring together their individual environmental, economic, and social initiatives under one holistic vision.


Sustainability Plans a Growing Trend Among U.S. Cities

This toolkit fills a major need: Across the United States, a rapidly growing number of cities, towns, and counties are eager to create sustainability plans or expand the scope of existing plans. A 2009 Living Cities survey of the 40 largest U.S. cities found that four in five considered sustainability among their top five priorities, and that approximately one-half of big cities are either currently creating sustainability plans, or have finished one within the past year. Approximately one-quarter finished their plans earlier. ICLEI USA's own fall 2008 member survey found similar results: 31 of respondents rate the development of a sustainability plan as Very Important, and 26 percent rate it as Important.

The problem for these jurisdictions is that developing a sustainability plan can be a lengthy, daunting, and complex process. With staff thin and money scarce, many local governments don't have the bandwidth to create their own planning process from scratch.

small green arrow icon View the Sustainability Planning Toolkit Now

Sustainability Planning Toolkit coverEstablishing the Best Practices

The toolkit not only makes the process easier, but it establishes for the first time the best practices for creating a sustainability plan, based on the planning model pioneered by New York City during the development of its renowned PlaNYC sustainability plan, released in 2007. ICLEI Project Manager Jennifer Ewing spent countless hours interviewing New York staff to understand their process: how they brought together interdepartmental teams, community leaders and topical expert; how they maintained public outreach and community engagement during the entire planning process; how they developed ambitious yet achieveable goals and focused initiatives whose progress could be measured and reported over time.

Jeb Bruggman, ICLEI Global's founder and current ICLEI USA Executive Director, added this:

Our message to all local governments is that the secret to a successful sustainability plan is a rigorous planning process, and this toolkit walks local governments through what can be a very complex process.

This toolkit will help cities and counties take their sustainability planning efforts to the next level. With a sustainability plan to guide their actions, cities like New York, Minneapolis, Santa Monica, and many others have shown that they can more effectively combat climate change, green their buildings, update infrastructure, invigorate their local economies, and improve public health and quality of life for their community members.


Five Milestones for Sustainability

To reach their chosen sustainability goals, local governments can follow ICLEI’s Five Milestones for Sustainability process, which is the foundation of the toolkit:

  • Milestone One: Conduct a sustainability assessment
  • Milestone Two: Establish sustainability goals
  • Milestone Three: Develop a local sustainability plan
  • Milestone Four: Implement policies and measures
  • Milestone Five: Evaluate progress and report results


By following this process, local governments can create plans with strong, measurable
goals that can be tracked over time. The ability to measure performance has been a key to
the success of PlaNYC.

In order to ensure the PlaNYC model was replicable for a range of large and small communities, ICLEI partnered with New Rochelle, NY and Miami-Dade County, FL to pilot the guidelines in the toolkit. Now, all ICLEI member local governments can access its guidance on how to structure their planning process, what types of strategies and measures to include in their plan, step-bystep guidelines to achieve each of the Five Milestones, best-practice examples, checklists, templates, and guidelines for organizing a team to develop the plan.


Coming Soon: A Sustainability Framework for Communities

The Sustainability Planning Toolkit is the first of two major sustainability resources
offered by ICLEI USA. The STAR Community Index, to be launched in 2011, is a
national, consensus-based framework for gauging the sustainability and livability of U.S.
communities. STAR will build on the Five Milestones for Sustainability by providing a
comprehensive set of goals and measures that standardize how we plan and manage for
sustainability at the local level. A soft launch of the set of municipal goals that will
comprise this new framework is set for early 2010. It is being developed through a robust
stakeholder process of more than 165 volunteers representing 135 organizations,
including 60 cities and 10 counties.

 

 
Read more »

Join ICLEI