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Climate Adaptation Planning Made Easier for Local Governments

by Don Knapp Nov 17, 2010

Adaptation page banner final

A changing climate is already affecting communities across America. As these unavoidable impacts intensify in the coming years – heat waves, flooding, water shortages, exacerbated air pollution – your community must begin preparing now to increase its resilience. But where do you begin? How do you plan?

Local governments have lacked a standardized planning process to address adaptation until today, when ICLEI launched its Climate Resilient Communities (CRC) program, the nation's first comprehensive adaptation program for local governments. CRC guides participants through ICLEI's well-known Five Milestone planning process, now tailored to adaptation:

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Climate Resilient Communities Program Unveiled in Miami

by Missy Stults, ICLEI Adaptation Manager Nov 16, 2010

Chavez Alvarez Miami-Dade launch

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez and ICLEI USA Executive Director Martin
Chavez announce the launch of ICLEI's new adaptation program, and Miami-Dade's
commitment to pioneer it.

Just moments ago, ICLEI USA unveiled its long-awaited Climate Resilient Communities adaptation program --- a program designed to help local governments understand how they are vulnerable to changing weather and climate patterns, and to build resilience to those vulnerabilities. Standing in front of the Miami Bay, Martin Chavez, ICLEI USA's Executive Director and Mayor Carlos Alvarez of Miami-Dade County, announced the program, which includes an array of resources to assist local governments with their adaptation efforts.

Two notable resources unveiled today include the Adaptation Database and Planning Tool (ADAPT) which is an online database that guides users through an adaptation planning process, and a case study detailing Miami-Dade County's historic work in building preparedness towards climate change.

"ICLEI is honored and delighted to once again partner with Miami-Dade County in unveiling our Climate Resilient Communities Program and we look forward to working with all of our members to ensure they are building resilient, livable communities," says Martin Chavez.

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Leaders Gather to Strategize Success With Green Schools and Education

by Don Knapp Nov 15, 2010

Green Schools banner

Guest Blogger: Martin Chávez, ICLEI USA Executive Director

Martin ChavezSome of the most capable and knowledgeable educators, elected officials, environment and green building experts gathered at the Redford Center in Sundance last week for an insightful discussion on the importance of a greener environment and education.

The Greening of America’s Schools Summit brought together mayors from across the nation and their respective schools superintendents. They were joined by a diverse group of leading educators, engineers, green building experts, nutritionists and other experts for this unique event hosted by our good friend Robert Redford and the Redford Center, USGBC and ICLEI USA.

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Local Action Roundup

by Rena Ragimova Nov 14, 2010


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A Week on the Road: Part II

by Cyrus Bhedwar, ICLEI Southeast Regional Director Nov 14, 2010

Charlotte Energy Council Hearings













International Code Council's 2010 Final Action Hearings

(Read Part I)

Part II, Wednesday, Charlotte, NC

Up pre-dawn to catch a train. Yes, a train.  For the first time in years I was riding Amtrak – a commuter train between Raleigh and Charlotte – to get to the International Code Council’s 2010 Final Action Hearings and help advance the model energy code by perhaps the largest margin in years. More on that later. First the train.

I was treated to a spacious seat with more leg room than I’ll ever need, power for my laptop and wireless card and no announcement asking me to power down my electronics. The free coffee didn’t hurt either. I was able to spend the 3 hour journey learning North Carolina geography as we passed through a stop about every 15-20 minutes and catching up on email. Based solely on this experience I am really excited about the prospect of increased high-speed rail, particularly in the Southeast.

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For Climate Activist, More Than One Road to COP16

by Rena Ragimova Nov 11, 2010

Paul Thompson photo

Paul Thompson: climate activist, bicycling enthusiast, avid disc golf player.
Photo credit: 350 Solutions Revolution.

Paul Thompson, 62, of Edina, MN, is not your average concerned citizen. His involvement with local environmental initiatives has taken him to last year’s COP15 climate negotiations in Copenhagen as an ICLEI representative, and this year to Cancun, Mexico for COP16. But this time, you won’t catch him on a plane.

To reach COP 16, Thompson has joined Portland residents, Katharine Ball and Alec Neal, for the 350 Solutions Revolution bicycle ride across the United States. The trio met last year in Copenhagen and this year they are collaborating on a documentary film that will highlight innovative local solutions to climate change.

“I’m looking forward to inspiring people along the way and supporting this wonderful effort to film and tell the story of America waking up,” says Thompson, “This is really shining a light on local climate solutions.”

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A Week on the Road: Part I

by Cyrus Bhedwar, ICLEI Southeast Regional Director Nov 08, 2010

Raleigh by bunchofpants on FlickrAlthough most of the time, the ICLEI Southeast Regional team stays around the Atlanta, GA office, last week, I was fortunate to find myself on the road visiting local government sustainability offices, and attending the ICC Final Action Hearings on Energy Codes.

I got to learn of members’ ambitious plans, share information about ICLEI's tools and resources, and hear about their impressive accomplishments. Finally, I witnessed local governments as they produced the most important national energy policy advancement of 2010. I watched as communities came together to tackle a common challenge and create a brighter future.


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Local Action Roundup

by Rena Ragimova Nov 07, 2010

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New York Municipalities Find Strength in Numbers

by Rena Ragimova Nov 03, 2010

In mid-2009, 14 municipalities in northern Westchester County, NY, formed a coalition with the goal of transcending politics to band together and work toward shared environmental and energy goals. The Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium (NWEAC) created a collaborative environment where citizens and decision-makers at all levels of government can come together and plan for the future of the region.

Since NWEAC's inception, members have begun collaborating on goals to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, save money for residents and businesses, increase energy efficiency, enable renewable energy generation, increase economic activity, and align local efforts with county, state, and federal initiatives. In the process they have discovered that there is true strength in numbers. Among many other achievements, their consolidated efforts have resulted in a more effective, joint federal grant application, a stronger voice when it came to approaching utility companies. Watch the video for insights from mayors involved in NWEAC.

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Historic 30% Boost in Building Energy Efficiency the Result of Local Government Push

by Energy Efficient Codes Coalition and ICLEI USA Oct 31, 2010

Energy Efficient Codes Coalition logo

A new national model energy code will boost the energy efficiency of home and commercial building construction by a historic 30% over the 2006 code. Delegates voted in favor of the changes over the weekend at the International Code Council's 2010 Final Action Hearings in Charlotte, NC. The efficiency of the next edition of America’s model energy code -- governing home and commercial building construction, additions and renovations -- will most likely achieve this 30% goal, sought by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of State Energy Officials, governors, lawmakers and the broad-based Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC), of which ICLEI was a key member.

In fact, efforts by ICLEI and its local government members were the key to success.

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