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To Advance Efficiency, State Governments Go Local

by Michael Sciortino, Research Assistant, ACEEE May 12, 2011

California State Capitol Sacramento

 
Guest blogger Michael Sciortino shares his insights on the American Counsel for Energy-Efficient Economy's newest white paper, "How States Enable Local Governments to Advance Energy Efficiency"

Anyone following the budget crises facing state governments can tell you that the policies and actions taken in state capitols can make indelible impacts on local governments. Local governments often rely on state funds, and in many cases take cues from the states when considering policies and programs.

ACEEE LogoRecognizing that the economic and environmental benefits of energy-efficient buildings and transportation can help both states and localities attain broader policy goals, a growing number of states are collaborating and leveraging their unique resources to advance energy efficiency at the community level. Whether local governments aim to cut costs, create jobs, protect the environment and public health, or increase energy security and reliability, energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest, and cleanest energy resource available, and one that numerous states and local governments are already employing successfully.

Download arrow icon Download ACEE's White Paper, "How States Enable Local Governments to Advance Energy Efficiency"

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Home Depot Awards Tacoma's Sustainability Efforts

by Adrienne DeAngelo Dec 02, 2010

Tacoma Light Rail 

City of Tacoma's Light Rail. Photo credit: Home Depot 2011 Awards of Excellence Case Study

The City of Tacoma, WA, and Tacoma Housing Authority were recognized by The Home Depot® Foundation with a national Award of Excellence for Sustainable Community Development. The Home Depot was particularly impressed with Tacoma's Salishan renewal project of 855 housing units -- originally built on 188 acres during World War II -- which demonstrates how Tacoma is creating compact, livable and green neighborhoods.

>> Read the Home Depot Case Study

 

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Integrating Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation in Lewes, DE

by Daniella Hirschfeld, ICLEI Climate Protection Program Officer Oct 28, 2010

Lewes, Delaware by Lee Cannon on Flickr.

Lewes, Delaware. Photo Credit: Lee Cannon on Flickr.

With strained financial and staff resources, many communities are finding it hard to meet some of their basic obligations – police forces are being cut and schools are forced to offer fewer and fewer programs. At the same time, communities across the country are seeing greater flooding, higher temperatures, chaotic weather patterns and greater duration and intensity of droughts. This is leading to a growing awareness about existing and future impacts of climate change and recognition of the need to start preparing.  

The Lewes Process

Although communities can engage in climate change adaptation planning in isolation, some may be better served by integrating climate change concerns into other planning processes such as community master plans and capital improvement plans. One ICLEI community – Lewes, Delaware – is exploring opportunities for integrating climate change adaptation into the hazard mitigation process.

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Green Schools Summit at the Crossroads of Sustainability and Education

by Guillermo Meneses, ICLEI Communications Director Oct 13, 2010

classroom by superkimbo in BKK on flickr

Photo credit: superkimbo in BKK on Flickr

Center for Green Schools

There’s no shortage of opinions and ideas when it comes to improving America’s educational system and presenting bold and innovative approaches to our educational system is no easy task. Redford Center

With this idea in mind, a group of mayors and school superintendents will join leading green designers, educators, building engineers, nutritionists and artists for a Greening of America’s Schools Summit November 7-9 at the Robert Redford Center, Sundance Village, Utah.  The goal will be to create a novel, invigorating approach that links education and the environment to benefit America’s next generation of students.

“In my mind, the issues that we are facing in the environment and ICLEI USA logoeducation are inextricably linked and I believe that this Green Schools Summit in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA can lead to creative ideas and bold solutions to tackle our education challenges,” said Robert Redford.

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Greenworks Orlando: By the Numbers

by Cyrus Bhedwar Oct 06, 2010

Orlando Downtown by Jordi Gomara on flickr

Downtown Orlando. Photo credit: Jordi Gomara on flickr.

As Jon Ippel, Sustainability Manager for the city that's home to the "Happiest Place on Earth," tells it, Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized that keeping Orlando happy well into the future meant increasing its focus on sustainability and recognized the growing role that cities have in jump-starting those initiatives. As a result, he created Greenworks Orlando.

Like many ICLEI members, Orlando was driving towards sustainability for decades, most notably in the water and wastewater arenas.  Then in 2007, Mayor Dyer created Greenworks Orlando "the City’s first comprehensive plan to protect our natural resources, encourage environmentally-friendly lifestyles and business practices and engage everyone who lives, works and visits Central Florida in the effort to 'go green'.”

In the past three years, Greenworks has focused primarily on internal government operations. He recently took the time to share the progress Orlando has made - check out the detailed six page report quantifying their success.

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