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The ICLEI World Congress 2015 In Numbers!

by Celina Plaza Mar 29, 2015

With just over a week until the start of the ICLEI World Congress 2015, our World Secretariat has shared a few numbers from what is one of ICLEI’s biggest ever events!

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RC4A Shaping New Era of Local-Federal Action on Climate and Resilience

by christinaashtary Jul 09, 2013








Every week since the Resilient Communities for America (RC4A) launch, we’ve had the privilege to share groundbreaking updates on climate action. In the wake of President Obama’s historic climate speech, a new era of local-federal collaboration is taking shape, and the RC4A campaign is emerging as a key channel to connect federal and local government leaders. ICLEI and the campaign partners recently held meetings with the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Additional dialogues are being planned, as well as this webinar with White House officials.





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Key West, FL Reduces Government Operations Emissions 5.6%

by Eli Yewdall Aug 22, 2010

Key West, Steve Beger Photography/Flickr

Key West, FL. Photo credit: Steve Beger Photography/Flickr

Key West's annual sustainability report shows that greenhouse gas emissions from government operations were 5.6% lower in 2009 than in the 2005 base year. The reduction shows significant progress toward the city's goal of 15% fewer emissions by 2015. Some of the changes that led to this reduction are:

  • 18.9% reduction in electricity use by city buildings, street lights and traffic signals
  • The waste water treatment plant reduced electric use by 6.1%, saving 253 metric tons of CO2
  • Fleet operations changes, including use of bio-diesel and ethanol, decreased emissions by 622 tons of CO2
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Milestone Award Winners in the South Central Region

by Samantha Hughes, South Central Regional Intern Apr 03, 2010

Gold Trophy

Congratulations to the 17 local governments across Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arizona that have received an ICLEI Milestone Award to recognize their achievements through our Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation process or our Five Milestones for Sustainability process.

In addition to our congratulations, we'd also like to say thanks to staff from these local governments, who conducted check-in calls with us in the first quarter. We appreciate your willingness to communicate what’s going on in your community -- it gives us that much more of an opportunity to highlight your success. Click below to view the local government winners and see what Milestones they have achieved...

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Baltimore and Annapolis Reach Climate and Sustainability Milestones

by Megan Wu, ICLEI Regional Officer, Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Region Mar 02, 2010

Baltimore Inner Harbor (Flickr Creative Commons)









Baltimore Inner Harbor. Photo credit: Kevin Labianco via Flickr Creative Commons.

One is a small coastal city with population less than 50,000, while the other is the hub of a bustling metropolitan area. So what do Annapolis and Baltimore have in common, besides being located in Maryland? They both share a clear vision for climate protection and sustainability, and have recently achieved ICLEI milestones in their efforts.


Baltimore Completes GHG Inventory, Adopts Sustainability Plan

  • After joining ICLEI in 2007, Baltimore wasted no time in moving through ICLEI's Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation process. The City hired an intern and completed greenhouse gas emissions inventories for both government operations and its entire community in 2009. (Milestone One)
  • In the meantime, the City completed and adopted its Sustainability Plan that addresses all three sectors of a sustainable community: Planet, People and Prosperity. The Sustainability Plan gives special emphasis on climate protection by adopting a GHG emissions reduction target of 15 percent by 2015 against the 2007 baseline. (Milestone Two)
  • Baltimore will soon embark on the creation of a Community Climate Action Plan, which involves an extensive community outreach process (Milestone Three).

Annapolis harbor (Flickr Creative Commons

Annapolis harbor. Photo credit: Mr. T in DC via Flickr Creative Commons

Annapolis Completes GHG Inventory, Sets Targets, Approves Plan

  • Annapolis joined ICLEI in 2003, not long after hurricane Isabel visited the City. Seeing the critical role a city can play in reducing and eventually reversing the consequences of climate change, Annapolis followed ICLEI’s Five Milestones for Climate Mitigation, and completed both its government operations and community greenhouse gas emissions inventories in 2008. (Milestone One)
  • The City set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 2006 levels by 2010, 50 percent by 2025, and to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. (Milestone Two)
  • In 2009, the City launched the Sustainable Annapolis Program, which kicked off a six-month public outreach initiative to help the City complete its Community Action Plan. The plan was adopted by the City Council in the same year and became the guiding document on the City’s climate and sustainability path. (Milestone Three)
  • Congratulations to the City staff who have achieved an incredible amount of work within two short years!

In early 2010, both Baltimore and Annapolis have welcomed new Mayors, who have shown strong interest and leadership in climate and sustainability initiatives, and I'm sure they will lead the two cities to even greater successes. As an ICLEI staff member supporting these two cities and other members in the Mid-Atlantic Region, I feel truly inspired by Baltimore's and Annapolis' leadership, and sincerely congratulate them on these achievement, for which they will receive ICLEI milestone awards.


>> View Annapolis' Climate Action Plan

>> View Baltimore's Sustainability Plan


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Mayor Bloomberg Spotlights the Message Behind the Message

by Don Knapp Dec 15, 2009

Speech by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at ICLEI event during COP15 from ICLEI Global on Vimeo.

Mayor Bloomberg didn’t mince words in his opening talk during ICLEI’s panel discussion on Tuesday: Cities need direct funding for climate mitigation. Cities produce approximately 75 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and worldwide, so you have to send the money to where the problem exists, and where climate impacts will be felt first.

That’s been an oft-repeated headline in the media over the past week, of course. But Mayor Bloomberg drove home the crucial secondary message that isn’t always getting through: Local governments need to be empowered not only because they’re responsible for GHG emissions, but because they’ve proven they know how to implement climate action measures successfully and efficiently.

Climate change is a monolithic problem for governments to tackle. (breaking news, right?) Where do you start? What are the most practical and cost-effective measures to implement? Local governments have already developed a playbook and defined a roadmap for emissions reductions. Mayor Bloomberg highlighted the success of New York’s approach, through its PlaNYC sustainability plan, the new green buildings legislation, and a commitment to accountability.

When you watch the video, also take note of the way Mayor Bloomberg frames the importance of climate action in New York:

We’ve had an environmental agenda that unchokes our economy, cleans up our air, saves us some money, and as a byproduct, helps stop us from destroying the planet. I’ve always thought that if you want to make process, you have to bring [the topic of climate change] back to something that’s near term and personal, otherwise people talk about it but aren’t committed to it, and certainly aren’t willing to spend their money and time to change it.


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Mission, Accomplished: Big Steps for a Small City

by Brita Pagels, ICLEI Program Officer Oct 05, 2009

Thumbs Up Group

The City Council in Mission, KS, officially adopted the City’s climate action plan back in June 2009, but the story is still worth talking about now because of its ability to inspire. Mission is a small city -- population 9,736 -- that has accomplished big things in a short span of time. The City's work shows that jurisdictions of all sizes, not just the large ones with large budgets, can drive local climate action. That's got to be encouraging to the many smaller local governments that are joining the ICLEI Network each week.

Since joining ICLEI in 2007, Mission has checked off three major tasks as it works through ICLEI's Five Milestone process: It completed its greenhouse gas emissions inventory of city operations and the community as whole, set an emissions reduction target, and completed its climate action plan.

A few notable findings from its emissions inventory:

  • Government operations:
    • The building sector produced the largest percentage of emissions totaling 61 percent, followed by the streetlight and traffic signals sector totaling 25 percent
    • Employee air and car miles resulted in 26 percent of the City’s emissions.
  • Community as a whole:
    • The transportation sector was responsible for the largest percentage of emissions totaling 59 percent.
    • Limited-access highways produced significantly more emissions than local road and arterial roads, totaling 72 percent.

In its climate action plan, the City maintains the goal of reducing emissions resulting from its operations as well as emissions from the community by 20 percent by 2020. A few highlights of the plan's recommendations:

  • Incorporating green building standards into the building code
  • Creating a building retrofit program
  • Diversion of waste through yard waste composting
  • Certification of 50 businesses that “implement “green” business practices
  • Promoting the use of native plants
  • Providing incentives and education about transportation options
  • Promotion of Transit Oriented Development

You can view the City’s climate action plan here and its greenhouse gas emissions inventory here.

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Workshop Presentations for Local Governments

by Don Knapp Sep 21, 2009

Action Resources IconICLEI's Southeast Regional Workshop on Sept. 16-17 featured a lineup of heavy hitters: regional and national climate and sustainability experts and leading Southeast local government staff who delivered invaluable presentations and trainings. The topics ranged from climate action planning to Southeast green jobs development and best practices for community outreach and engagement. Download these free Powerpoint presentations for insight into each topic.


small green arrow icon Energy and Climate

ICLEI Energy Office Initiative Overview
Discover the benefits of an energy office for your community and how ICLEI can assist you in establishing one.
Presented by Dave Konkle, ICLEI Energy Office Director

City of Atlanta Energy and Climate Initiatives
For a real-world example, learn how the City of Atlanta created and structured its Office of Sustainability.
Presented by Mandy Mahoney, City of Atlanta Director of Sustainability

An Overview Training on Climate Action Planning
Learn how to structure your climate action plan to set your community up for long-term success.
Presented by Missy Stults, ICLEI Project Manager

small green arrow icon Economic Recovery Resources and Federal Policy

Updates, Opportunities, & Resources for Local Governments
Learn about Federal climate policy, what it means for local governments, and resources available from EPA.
Presented by Emma Zinsmeister, EPA State and Local Climate and Energy Program, Office of Atmospheric Programs

small green arrow icon Small Communities

Climate Change and Energy: What Can Small Communities Do to Help?
Learn about resources for small communities from the EPA Region 4 office.
Presented by Ken Mitchell, Ph.D., Energy and Climate Change Coordinator, U.S. EPA, Atlanta, GA

Sustainability in Decatur, Georgia
See how a small community leader has succeeded in promoting local sustainability.
Presented by Mayor Bill Floyd, City of Decatur, GA

small green arrow icon Green Jobs and Economic Development

A Vision for the Role of Technical Colleges in Sustainability
Find out how Georgia technical colleges are developing green job training programs.
Presented by Dr. Sheila L Stille and Dianne Bowers, Lanier Technical College

Powering New Growth: Moving Tennessee to a Sustainable Economy
Learn from Tennessee's programs to take advantage of the clean energy economy.
Presented by Ryan Gooch, Energy Policy Director, Tennessee Dept. of Economic & Community Development

small green arrow icon Outreach and Communications

Outreach and Communications in Nashville, Tennessee
See an action planning process that brought the public in from beginning to end.
Presented by Jenna Smith, City of Nashville Environmental Sustainability Manager

Community Engagement Success in City of Charleston, South Carolina
Learn how community partnerships have driven climate protection in Charleston.
Presented by Carolee Williams, Project Manager, City of Charleston

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Highlights from ICLEI's Southeast Regional Workshop

by Cyrus Bhedwar, ICLEI Southeast Manager Sep 21, 2009

southeast workshop missy stults

ICLEI's Missy Stults gives workshop participants a training on the hows and whys of climate action planning.

It was more “Wet-lanta” than “Hot-lanta,” but that didn’t dampen the spirits of attendees of ICLEI’s inaugural Southeast Regional Worksho,p held September 16-17 in Atlanta, GA. More than 60 people gathered to learn, share and network among the Southeast’s local government leaders in climate protection and sustainability. The day-and-a-half agenda featured such highlights as:

  • Exclusive ICLEI trainings on how to establish an energy office and a role-playing exercise on developing an climate action plan
  • Insight and resources from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • ICLEI resources to assist you access grant funding plus a sneak peek at upcoming federal policy assistance from ICLEI
  • Sessions on green jobs development, outreach and communications and small community climate action
  • An international perspective on local climate action from Ray Morgan, Chief Executive of Woking, United Kingdom
  • Facilitated state networking sessions

Click the "Read more" link below to get the full details on these trainings and discussions. Or, view the Powerpoint slides from each training.

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Albuquerque Releases Proposed Climate Action Plan

by Don Knapp Aug 03, 2009

Mayor Martin Chavez encourages Albuquerqueans to participate in the ongoing process
to finalize the proposed climate action plan.

The City of Albuquerque, NM, a leader in local sustainability, has just released a proposed climate action plan with a range of strategies to help the City meet its short, medium, and long-term emissions reduction goals, including 80 percent emissions reductions by 2050.

To meet these goals, the climate action plan contains 49 strategies across categories such as carbon-neutral buildings, transportation, and livable neighborhoods.

Something to note about the plan as it stands right now: Mayor Martin Chavez stresses that it is a proposed plan and a first step -- not a document written in stone. The goal is to engage community members to share their thoughts and submit their input to shape the finalized version of the plan. Here's how the City is collecting that input:

  • 10 town-hall meeting are scheduled during August to bring together community members to discuss the plan.

  • Residents who can't attend the meetings can still fill out an online survey to submit their feedback.

This proposed climate action plan was engineered by a 60-member all-volunteer Climate Action Task Force designed to represent the diverse interests in the Albuquerque community. The Task Force included environmentalists, engineers, scientists, business professionals, political action groups, government staff, and others. The Task Force's first draft of the climate action plan was reviewed by peer groups, and will now be reviewed and refined by community members before being submitted to the City Council for formal approval.

>> Read the Climate Action Plan



Extra: Another climate action plan worth checking out is Portland's Draft Climate Action Plan 2009


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