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45 Top Mayors Pledge Action on Extreme Weather, Launch National Resilience Campaign

by Don Knapp Jun 15, 2013

The Resilient Communities for America campaign launches today: The mayors of Washington DC, Denver, Cincinnati, Sacramento, San Diego, Milwaukee, El Paso, Broward County and many others commit to creating more resilient cities and counties in response to nation’s growing extreme weather, climate and energy challenges


Forty five leading local elected officials today committed to creating more resilient cities, towns, and counties in the face of unprecedented extreme weather and energy challenges that threaten communities across the country. The “Inaugural Signatories” of the Resilient Communities for America Agreement letter pledged to take cost-effective actions to prepare and protect their communities from the increasing disasters and disruptions fueled by climate change, such as heat waves, floods, droughts, severe storms, and wildfires. In addition, they called for more action and support from federal leaders.

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Campaign Chair Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento: "Make a Commitment"

“A new national movement is emerging, led by mayors who believe that now is the time to take powerful, proactive steps to safeguard our communities, adapt to extreme weather and energy challenges, and transform adversity into economic opportunity,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, CA, Chair of the Resilient Communities for America campaign. “Today I call on my fellow mayors and county leaders across the country to join the campaign and make your own commitment to creating more resilient communities that are strong, self-reliant, prepared, and prosperous.”

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Eugene, OR, Reduces Energy Consumption & Carbon Footprint

by Don Knapp Apr 29, 2013

Even as its population grows, Eugene, OR is decreasing its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, setting an example for cities nationwide. A 2013 progress report on the city's Community Climate and Energy Action Plan highlighted progress toward key goals on energy and fossil fuel use, land use and transportation, climate adaptation and community resilience, and other areas.

>> View the Progress Report (pdf)

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Chicago, Cincinnati, San Francisco Recognized for Citywide Efforts to Address Climate Change

by Don Knapp Jan 16, 2013

Photo credit: anneh632 courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Chicago, Cincinnati and San Francisco have been selected as U.S. finalists in World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC), a year-long challenge rewarding cities that are preparing for increasingly extreme weather and promoting renewable energy. Both Chicago and Cincinnati experienced their warmest years on record in 2012.  The cities were chosen by WWF and global management consultancy Accenture for actively taking steps to transition their communities toward a climate-friendly future.

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EPA Releases Guide to Resource Conservation and Recovery for Greenhouse Gas Reduction

by Don Knapp Sep 25, 2012

EPA has released a new climate and energy strategy guide for local governments, titled Resource Conservation and Recovery: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs (PDF, 42 pp, 6.3 megabytes). Resource conservation and recovery strategies involve avoiding, delaying, or decreasing the raw materials required for the production of new products through source reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and energy recovery. These practices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life-cycle of materials, while also reducing air pollution, energy use, and landfilling costs.

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Climate Action Planning in San Francisco's City Departments

by City of San Francisco Sep 13, 2012

Photo credit: City of San Francisco

San Francisco was one of the first U.S. cities to ask individual city departments to produce climate action plans. In 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance requiring each department to produce and update a Climate Action plan annually. These plans are called Departmental Climate Action Plans (DepCAPs). To view overall municipal carbon footprint by fuel source and by department, click here.

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Success Story: The Greening of Grand Rapids

by Heidi Stukkie Aug 18, 2012

Photo credit: ADAM BIRD, reposted from the Rapid Growth website.


Reposted with permission from the Rapid Growth website:

Recent national awards have positioned Grand Rapids as an environmental leader known for its commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency and climate protection. The city’s focused efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions began a few years ago and are already showing significant cost savings and numerous social and environmental benefits.   

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) awarded Mayor George K. Heartwell first place in the large city category of the 2012 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards. The award recognizes mayors for their innovative practices to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Announcing the 2013 Climate Leadership Awards

by Don Knapp Jul 31, 2012

Begin your application now for the 2013 Climate Leadership Awards! Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to receive government recognition for your environmental efforts and highlight your leadership and competitive edge to key stakeholders

In 2011, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its three NGO partners - The Climate Registry (The Registry), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) – launched the Climate Leadership Awards (CLA), calling national attention to exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in response to climate change. The inaugural 2012 awards were presented to one individual and 20 organizations [see 2012 winners].

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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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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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How Berkeley Tracks Climate Action Progress

by Don Knapp Jan 16, 2012

Berkeley AC Transit bus (credit: lensovet)

An AC Transit bus in Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: lensovet via Wikimedia Commons

Local government staff: If a city councilor or community member wanted a detailed progress report on your climate action plan implementation, could you deliver it?


Tracking and reporting performance is a key to successful climate action. Take a cue from City of Berkeley, CA, which now provides annual updates via its website for each core strategy of its Climate Action Plan. Berkeley’s website makes clear the benefits of this effort for any local government. You don’t need legions of staff or fancy software to track and report progress, only a smart effort, (especially at the outset), staff commitment, and some well-organized spreadsheets.

“As sustainability professionals, I don’t think we do a good enough job of communicating what we’re accomplishing,” says Timothy Burroughs, City of Berkeley’s Climate Action Coordinator in the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development. ““We have a lot more work to do, but we’re also doing a ton of great work and we have data that can communicate that story.”

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