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Local Action Roundup

by Rena Ragimova Sep 16, 2010

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Get the Green Procurement Toolkit

by Don Knapp Sep 14, 2010

Globe Surrounded by Cardboard

From the California Sustainability Alliance website:

Action Resources IconTo help local governments improve their sustainability and reduce their environmental impacts, the California Sustainability Alliance has developed a guidebook for local governments thinking of adopting an environmentally-friendly procurement and purchasing plan. By weighing not only the purchase price of a product but also its full lifetime cost, green procurement policies can help local governments save money, create local green jobs and improve their environmental sustainability.

small green arrow icon View the Green Procurement Toolkit (online)

small green arrow icon Download the Green Procurement Guide (pdf)

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Inside the District of Columbia’s Climate Action Plan

by Don Knapp Sep 13, 2010

Washington monument (credit: S.E.B. via flickr)

Photo credit: S.E.B. via Flickr

There is impressive climate progress to report from Washington, DC, but maybe not what you're thinking. Last week, the District released a draft climate action plan, reinforcing its reputation as a green city and reminding us again that climate leadership is still something found in abundance at the local—not federal—level.

District of Columbia Climate Action Plan thumbnailThe plan, “Climate of Opportunity—A Draft Climate Action Plan for the District of Columbia,” establishes aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for the District government and lists the measures required to reach them. It suggests community-wide reduction measures as well, paving the way for public input and discussion toward a finalized plan with targets to reduce the entire community’s GHG emissions and steps to address climate adaptation. 

For interested local government staff working on their own climate action plans, we’ve assembled some of the most notable features of the District’s plan, which, by the way, was created with consulting support from ICLEI.

  • Aggressive short-term targets. The District aims to reduce GHG emissions from government operations 20 percent below 2006 levels by 2012 (and 80 percent by 2050). This is a target that would seem out of reach for many cities, but the District calculated that its existing progress on emissions reductions—especially for green buildings—made the goal achievable. One of the keys to success is the District government’s newly negotiated contract to purchase 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources (this includes District agencies and DC Water purchasing jointly via a reverse auction called the Municipal Aggregate Program, or MAP).
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Local Action Roundup

by Rena Ragimova Sep 08, 2010

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Report From the Georgia State Network Meeting 2010

by Don Knapp Sep 07, 2010

People chain cropped

On Sept. 1, ICLEI's Georgia Sustainability Network of members and others came together for an annual in-person meeting. Our 2010 meeting was graciously hosted by Morgan County, located just east of the Atlanta metro region with 355 square miles and just over 18,000 people. About 15 representatives of local governments, EPA, Georgia DNR and nonprofit allies gathered for an afternoon of learning and sharing information.

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The Power of Networking in the Southeast

by Cyrus Bhedwar, Southeast Regional Director Sep 07, 2010

Knoxville by Frank Kehren

Staff from Tennessee local governments met in Knoxville for one of ICLEI's state
sustainability network meetings. Photo credit: Frank Kehren

As the unofficial end of summer signals the end of beach vacations, family reunions, barbecue, most kids head back to school. However throughout the summer, many ICLEI staff liaisons have been in “school” at ICLEI’s in-person state network meetings learning, sharing, and networking. These meetings provide ICLEI staff liaisons the chance to meet face-to-face and get to know their peers in a more interactive environment than the monthly state network calls. We also kicked off a new feature of the Southeast State Network Meetings: tours that showcased sustainability projects throughout the region. These casual but informative tours allowed members to get together in a relaxed manner at the start to the meeting while getting inspired.

Read on for recaps of the network meetings in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida (read separate about the Georgia meeting), including details on local government projects and plans.

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Lessons Learned Using ICLEI's CAPPA Tool

by Eli Yewdall, Southeast Regional Officer Sep 06, 2010

Flow Chart 3-D banner

ICLEI's Southeast Regional office has been working since June with a small group of ICLEI local government members to apply the Climate and Air Pollution Planning Assistant (CAPPA) to their climate action planning efforts. CAPPA is am Excel-based decision support tool designed to help U.S. local governments choose achievable emissions-reduction targets and select appropriate strategies for a climate action plan.

CAPPA logo smallICLEI provided hands-on CAPPA assistance to Sarosota County and the City of Sarasota, FL; Tallahassee, FL; and Carrboro, NC. These local governments shared information on climate actions they are looking at in common, and finally, shared their experiences with the region on a webinar held August 30.

>> View the Event Recording

Read on for details on how local governments used CAPPA in ways that you can replicate.

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Local Governments Addressing Energy Efficiency in Real Estate Markets

by Eli Yewdall, Southeast Regional Officer Sep 01, 2010

Home in Hands (credit: thinkpanama via flickr)

Photo credit: thinkpanama via Flickr

Some local governments are starting to look at a new leverage point for encouraging residential energy efficiency: creating more transparency in the real-estate market for the energy cost to live in a home. Currently, both homeowners looking to make energy efficiency upgrades and builders of new homes face uncertainty about whether money they put into energy efficiency will be reflected in a higher price when they go to sell the home. With the average homeowner in the U.S. spending over $2300 a year on energy, an energy-efficient home seems worth paying a premium for. Although the data is limited, a few studies like this one and this one show that the market does in fact show the expected premium for energy efficiency.

A major obstacle, however, is lack of information.

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Meadville Powers City Vehicles With Waste Oil

by Jamie OConnell, Northeast Regional Officer Sep 01, 2010

Biodiesel bottles (credit: rrelam via Flickr)

Photo credit: rrelam via Flickr

Is your community home to a college or university? Does your downtown boast restaurants or other eating establishments? Have you ever wondered how to engage these sectors in your municipality’s sustainability framework?

In Meadville, PA, home to Allegheny College, the answer to all three questions was "yes," and the key ingredient turned out to be something unexpected: the waste cooking oil essential for any fried cuisine.

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Traffic-Calming Project Earns Award for Meadville

by Jamie OConnell, Northeast Regional Officer Sep 01, 2010

Meadville, PA, street (credit: Lottery Monkey via Flickr)

Meadville, PA. Photo credit: Lottery Monkey via Flickr

In June 2010, the City of Meadville, PA was honored by the 2009 Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Awards Program at the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities (PLCM) annual convention. Meadville’s Diamond Park Island Traffic Calming Project was selected by a panel of judges from PLCM, the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA), and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

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