Why Should You Take Action?
Houston Mayor Annise Parker announces the launch of the Houston Green Office Challenge, a program to help Houston businesses save money and conserve natural resources.
Join the hundreds of local governments seizing the opportunities of climate and energy action, and establishing leadership in addressing a global crisis.
Benefits for Your Local Government and Community
Have you connected the dots on climate and energy action? Don't let these opportunities slip away:
- Save precious taxpayer dollars and offset budget cuts through energy efficiency and transportation initiatives
- Slash greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change
- Improve air quality and public health (global warming and air pollution go hand in hand)
- Strengthen your local economy and create jobs
- Help bring energy independence to America and protect your community from fluctuating energy prices
- Become a more resilient community by preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change
- Engage local businesses and residents to save money and conserve resources
- Gain recognition for your leadership on climate and energy
An Imperative to Protect Your Community—and the Planet
There is no debate about the fundamentals of the climate crisis. A vast body of climate science and the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists and mainstream scientific institutions show that climate change is real and happening now, and is driven by human causes, primarily the burning of fossil fuels.
Energy independence is the parallel issue, with our nation dangerously (and expensively) dependent on foreign energy sources, even though abundant clean and local energy is available.
Local governments are on the front lines of these issues. How will your community respond to local climate impacts and unpredictable energy prices? Climate impacts are a serious concern in particular, because they're already happening now: from extreme heat waves that put the elderly, young, and disadvantaged at risk to more frequent severe storms and floods that damage infrastructure like bridges, roads, and culverts, and overwhelm storm sewers. Local governments recognize their responsibility to protect their citizens, property, and natural resources.
Local Action and Innovation
The answer to these challenges? Bottom-up, local innovations and solutions. Local governments around the world have displayed the leadership on climate action and clean energy not seen at any other level of government. They are setting goals, enacting plans, and reducing GHG emissions as they create healthier, more resilient communities.
Local governments recognize their power to address these challenges and in the process, make their communities better places to live. They are responsible for many of the day-to-day activities that determine the amount of energy, water and other resources that citizens need to use to maintain their quality of life and the amount waste they generate in the process. They are also responsible for the long-term planning for the community—from land use and zoning decisions to building codes and licenses, infrastructure investment, public transit options, municipal service delivery and management of infrastructure, schools, parks and recreation areas.
These special responsibilities are what allow local governments to preserve communities as unique and livable local places, and ICLEI exists to support local governments in these endeavors to make each community the cleanest, healthiest, most vibrant and efficient place it can be for generations to come.