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Join the Earth Hour City Challenge on March 31

by Don Knapp Mar 26, 2012

WWF Earth Hour City Challenge logo

On March 31, 2012, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will launch the first annual international Earth Hour City Challenge. This year-long competition will engage, empower and reward participating cities that promote renewable energy and prepare for the emerging impacts of climate change. Participating U.S. cities receive resources and gain recognition for their efforts to curb carbon pollution and prepare their communities for the harmful consequences of climate change.

ICLEI USA is proud to contribute to the City Challenge by delivering educational trainings and tools to participating local governments, beginning in summer 2012.

Blue yellow arrow icon small Take the Challenge

 

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Arlington County Businesses Save $2 Million With Green Games

by Arlington County Mar 26, 2012

Arlington county green games 2012

On Thursday, March 22, 2012, Arlington celebrated the accomplishments of its Inaugural Green Games competition for the commercial office sector.  More than 100 buildings and offices, representing roughly 15 million square feet – or one third – of Arlington’s office space competed for one year in a race to reduce waste, energy and water use, and set other environmental goals.

By deploying energy-efficient, no- to low-cost, and sustainable practices, Green Games participants realized a collective savings of $2M and prevented the release of 10,000 tons of CO2, or the equivalent of taking 1,996 passenger vehicles off the road for one year. Companies that showed the greatest achievements across areas such as energy and water use, waste diversion and transportation choices over the year were honored by Arlington County during the ceremony.

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Sustainability Strengthens Our Communities

by Mayor Patrick Henry Hays, ICLEI USA President and Board Chair Mar 19, 2012

Mayor Hays color photo

This article originally appeared in The Tennessean on March 19, 2012

As I finish my 24th year as mayor of my hometown, North Little Rock, Ark., I often reflect on my guiding principles. I believe in the U.S. Constitution, which I have sworn to uphold, and I have deep respect for those who have sacrificed to give us the best form of government on earth. As an elected official, I am tasked with maintaining my community’s way of life and increasing our prosperity.

That’s why it is difficult for me to comprehend the message sent last Thursday by the Tennessee House of Representatives to local elected officials: Do not attract new business investment by making your community a great place to live. Do not pursue economic opportunity that also benefits the environment. And by no means should you plan ahead for what kind of community you want to leave your children and grandchildren.

How did they manage to do all this? By passing a resolution “condemning” sustainability and a 20-year-old United Nations blueprint called Agenda 21, deeming it all part of a vast conspiracy at work in America’s local governments.

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Survey Results Shed Light on Solar Energy Challenges, Opportunities

by ICMA Mar 05, 2012

Man Carrying Solar Panels

In the fall of 2011, ICMA conducted a solar survey of local governments. This survey, which was sent to 10,423 city- and county-type local governments with populations over 2,500, aimed to gather information on what local governments are doing related to the adoption of solar energy, particularly solar photovoltaic (PV). The survey had a response rate of 24.1% (2,507 local governments), and the data provide an overview of the solar landscape as it pertains to local governments across the country – the challenges they are facing, the solar initiatives underway, and areas where local governments can still take steps to help facilitate the increased adoption of solar PV in their communities.

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FEMA Administrator Fugate Applauds Green Building as a Cornerstone of the Resiliency Agenda

by Maggie Comstock, Associate, Policy, U.S. Green Building Council Mar 01, 2012

usgbc speaker series 2012 1

Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Craig Fugate,
speaking to building resiliency.

Yesterday, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Craig Fugate delivered a rousing speech on the role green building can play to ensure resilient communities for a changing planet. Fugate served as the keynote speaker of the second installment of the National Leadership Speaker Series on Resiliency and Security in the 21st Century at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The Administrator focused thematically on risk and better accountability in a changing world:

 “We cannot afford to continue to respond to disasters and deal with the consequences under the current model. Risk that is not mitigated, that is not considered in return on investment calculations, will often set up false economies. We will reach a point where we can no longer subsidize this.”

He also described the disconnect between total cost of ownership and action. He used the analogy of purchasing a car - does the consumer really understand the upfront cost versus the costs of insurance, gas, upkeep, etc.? It’s getting better because few would purchase a car with low fuel economy with gas prices at their current level, but there’s still a long way to go. It’s an apt analogy that also applies to buildings. Fugate said buildings also have long-term operating costs and risk factors that must be taken into consideration during construction and renovation.

 

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FEMA Agrees: We Need More Resilient Communities and Buildings

by Don Knapp Mar 01, 2012

usgbc resilience speaker series 3

Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Craig Fugate.

A new effort is required to communicate climate risks and develop greater resilience at the local level, according to Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Fugate served as the keynote speaker on Feb. 29 at the National Leadership Speaker Series on Resilience and Security in the 21st Century, hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council and ICLEI–Local Governments for Sustainability USA at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

“We cannot afford to continue to respond to disasters and deal with the consequences under the current model,” said Fugate. “Risk that is not mitigated, that is not considered in return on investment calculations, will often set up false economies. We will reach a point where we can no longer subsidize this.”

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