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Talking Climate Change and Cities on "Fire It Up with CJ" Radio Show

by Don Knapp Apr 26, 2012

Monica Gilchrist full sizeListen as ICLEI's Monica Gilchrist chats with radio host CJ Liu of "Fire It Up With CJ" about the opportunities and success stories of local governments in addressing climate change, saving energy, and creating healthier, more prosperous communities in the process.

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Keya ChatterjeeIn the second half of the show, Keya Chatterjee of the World Wildlife Fund talks about the Earth Hour City Challenge, and how cities can get involved in this challenge program to fight climate change and expand local renewable energy sources.

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Houston Mayor Parker Announces Green Office Challenge Winners

by City of Houston Apr 25, 2012

City of Houston Creates Largest Challenge in U.S.

Houston green office challenge awards 2012 1 (credit: Richard J. Carson)

Mayor Annise Parker (right) congratulates members of Smith and Associates Green
Team, which took home the Overall Winner honors for "Greatest Implementation of
Green Building Innovations." Photo credit: Richard J. Carson


The City of Houston, in partnership with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the Clinton Climate Initiative and over 25 Houston nonprofits, announced the winners of the City’s first annual Green Office Challenge on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. The Houston Green Office Challenge officially began January 1, 2011 becoming the nation’s largest.

Since that time, the City of Houston has provided training opportunities and other resources, including financial incentives, to assist office building owners, property managers, management districts and tenants to increase their environmental and economic performance in the areas of energy conservation, waste reduction, water efficiency, cleaner transportation choices and property management/tenant engagement.

“The Green Office Challenge has been a success because of community commitment,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “More than 375 buildings and tenants participated representing approximately 75 million square feet.” In just the last year, with 176 buildings achieving LEED status, Houston rose from number seven to number four in the nation with the most LEED certified buildings and is quickly closing in on a top three spot. 

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The Top Three Reasons Rio+20 Will Change the World

by Maggie Comstock, USGBC Apr 24, 2012

Dusk on Earth's Mesosphere

Vote for Maggie to be the official blogger for World Environment Day in Rio! Click “Vote Now” on the UNEP website below her picture or at the end of the blog and enter the security code. Please share with friends and colleagues! Voting ends April 30.


Though two months away, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development’s Earth Summit, better known as Rio+20, has already been labeled vital, momentous and historic. And while delegates, students and activists have yet to arrive in Brazil, we already know that Rio+20 has the potential to be a “big deal.”

Rio+20 logo smallerIt all begs the question, can the people engaging in Rio+20, in-person or remotely, really change the world?  My sage and inspiration for answering this question is Margaret Mead who said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Simply, Rio+20 is about being part of that thoughtful group committed to "getting it right" for future generations.  The outcome and commitments of the Conference will affect us all, from the farmer in Iowa to the IT specialist in India, and whether you attend the conference or not, your voice can and needs to be heard.

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Submit Feedback on the Draft California Climate Change Adaptation Policy Guide

by California Natural Resources Agency Apr 11, 2012

CA adaptation policy

The California Natural Resources Agency, in partnership with the California Emergency Management Agency and with support from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), are developing an Adaptation Policy Guide (APG) to provide a decision‐making framework intended for use by local and regional stakeholders to aid in the interpretation of climate science and to develop a systematic rationale for reducing risks caused, or exacerbated, by climate change. The APG is not intended to provide a prescriptive set of strategies. Instead, it will provide a framework to guide decision makers through the critical considerations necessary for adaptation policy development.

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CA adaptation policy guide thumbPublic Review Draft

Public comments on the Draft APG are being sought, and the document is now available for public review. To view the Draft APG, please choose the link below:

Draft California Climate Adaptation Policy Guide >> (pdf)


Public comments will be collected beginning April 9th, concurrent with the Draft APG’s announcement at the Impacts and Adaptation Local Government Conference. This public review will close on Monday, May 18th. Please send in your comments, via e-mail, using this link

. The Draft APG will then be revised and finalized for release by the end of June 2012. Please visit this web page soon for updates.


During this review phase, two public meetings will be held to provide the opportunity for direct input on the APG: one in southern and northern California. Please check the above website link ("Learn More") for meeting details. Read more »

WWF Launches Earth Hour City Challenge: Entry Form Opens in June

by Lynn Englum, Climate Change Program, WWF Apr 09, 2012

Tucson (credit: zereshk via wikimedia commons)

Tucson, AZ. (credit: zereshk via wikimedia commons)

Cities around the world switched off their lights at 8:30 pm Saturday March 31 in observance of Earth Hour, an annual call for action on climate change. A record 6,525 cities and towns in 150 countries and territories participated in this year's event, a total larger than any year since Earth Hour began in 2007. Among the businesses and monuments participating were Caesars Palace Las Vegas, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York City.

Learn More or Get Involved >>

Tucson Leads the Way

In Tucson, Arizona, the World Wildlife Fund used Earth Hour as a platform to launch a new competition—Earth Hour City Challenge—among U.S. cities to develop and implement climate change plans that include renewable energy expansion and adaptation measures. The launch event in Tucson brought together 120 citizens to talk about local climate preparedness measures. Citizens voted on their preferred preparedness measures, such as boosting energy efficiency to offset an anticipated spike in electricity use with increased air conditioning demand. Participants also brought up the need to capture water after flash floods and to get rid of invasive species that fuel wildfires.


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Integrating Public Health into Climate Action Planning

by Calfornia Department of Public Health Apr 05, 2012

climate health report cover

The Calfornia Dept. of Public Health has released a new publication, Climate Action for Health: Integrating Public Health into Climate Action Planning, for local government and health planners. The Guide provides an overview of climate change as an important health issue and presents ideas for integrating key public health issues into greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reductions strategies as they are addressed in the Climate Action Plan: Transportation, Land Use, Urban Greening, Food and Agriculture, Residential Energy Use, and Community Engagement and Vulnerable Populations.

climate health report thumbMany strategies for reducing GHG emissions can also improve the health of a community.  This educational resource was developed with the input of state and local climate planners and public health practitioners and provides examples of health-related language from communities around the state, and contains resources and references that will be helpful in local planning and implementation work.

Blue yellow arrow icon small View the Guide (pdf)

For more information, contact Kathy Dervin, Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, or (510) 620-6245.

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Climate Adaptation Case Studies From the San Francisco Bay Area

by Don Knapp Apr 04, 2012

San Francisco watershed map

Three new case studies highlight the climate adaptation progress of three communities in the San Francisco Bay Area: Berkeley, Pinole, and the watershed managed by the San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority. The case study series, "Climate Adaptation in Action" was produced by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (SFBCDC).


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LBNL's New Clean Energy Program Policy Briefs

by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Apr 03, 2012

Man Carrying Solar Panels

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released three new clean energy financing policy briefs today on Clean Energy Works Oregon, the Indianapolis Ecohouse Project Loan program and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program.

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