Connecting state and local government leaders
The selected city, county, tribal and other local governments will received targeted federal assistance to ‘further raise their ambitions.'
The Obama administration on Wednesday named 16 “Climate Action Champions” around the nation—city, county, tribal and other local governments that were part of a competitive process led by the U.S. Department of Energy to “to identify and recognize local climate leaders and to provide targeted Federal support to help those communities further raise their ambitions,” according to a White House announcement.
“The selected communities will benefit from facilitated peer-to-peer learning opportunities and targeted support from a range of federal programs, including technical assistance from renewable energy experts, accessible climate data and tools, and opportunities for tailored emergency preparedness exercises,” John Podesta, a counselor to President Obama, wrote in a White House blog post.
Among the selected Climate Action Champions is Broward County, Florida, which GovExec State & Local featured earlier this week for its various countywide environmental initiatives, including energy efficiency efforts that have saved millions of kilowatt hours annually.
Here’s a full list from the White House:
- Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe (CA): The Blue Lake Rancheria, a Federally recognized tribal government, began its strategic climate action plan in 2008 and is a regional leader in strategically planning and implementing both climate resiliency and greenhouse gas reduction measures. To date, the Tribe has reduced energy consumption by 35 percent and has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2018, utilizing a range of approaches including the use of biodiesel to power public buses and aggressive energy efficiency measures.
- Boston (MA): The City of Boston has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. The city is the first in the region to adopt Green Building Zoning, add climate resilience to the large new construction review process, and work with utilities on a regional microgrid. Additionally, Boston implemented a “Green Ribbon Commission,” which represents businesses, non-profits, and community leaders from a variety of sectors working to develop shared strategies for fighting climate change in coordination with the city’s Climate Action Plan.
- Broward County (FL): Broward County, a member of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, a regional partnership of four counties (Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach) to advance climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 2 percent per year, reaching a 10 percent reduction target by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050.
- Dubuque (IA): The City of Dubuque has adopted greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 50 percent below 2003 levels by 2030. Alongside these aggressive targets, the flood prone community of Dubuque is focused on risk reduction and resilience, especially as it relates to development and redevelopment of community infrastructure.
- Knoxville (TN): The City of Knoxville has set a short-term greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. In order to execute on that target, the city developed a planning process that engages major stakeholders, including utilities and community grassroots organizations, and formalizes efforts to integrate energy provision, utilization, procurement, waste, and urban/agricultural use into the city’s Energy and Sustainability Work Plan.
- Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (DC, MD, and VA): The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) developed the National Capital Region Climate Change Report, demonstrating a fully integrated approach to climate change mitigation and outlining goals in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, transportation and land use, sustainability and resilience, and infrastructure. The COG is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. As a Climate Action Champion, the COG plans to establish an innovative Climate Champions Training Initiative to disseminate the Federal technical assistance and resources it receives to stakeholders across the region.
- Mid-America Regional Council (KS and MO): The Mid-America Regional Council, a nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bi-state Kansas City region, proposed the creation of a regional Resilience Working Group. Through leadership, planning, and action, the Mid-America Regional Council promotes regional cooperation and innovative solutions and seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 percent per year.
- Minneapolis (MN): The City of Minneapolis developed the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan, which includes greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 15 percent by 2015, 30 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050. The city has partnered with two utilities, Xcel Energy and Center Point Energy, to jointly plan, market, implement, and track strategies to meet climate and energy goals.
- Montpelier (VT): Earlier this year, the City of Montpelier launched Net Zero Montpelier, a major initiative focused on making Montpelier the first effectively carbon-neutral capital city in the country by the year 2030. The city has demonstrated its leadership and innovation in climate mitigation and resilience by creating the first energy efficiency utility and the first standard offer program, and by making a commitment to eliminate fossil fuel use across all sectors.
- Oberlin (OH): The City of Oberlin has developed a climate change mitigation and resilience plan for power production, solid waste, and transportation, utilizing an innovative and collaborative model that includes partnerships between the town, the University, the utility, industry, and international, national, and regional non-profits. The city established aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets of 50 percent by 2015, 75 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050.
- Portland (OR): The City of Portland is a regional leader for greenhouse gas reduction and climate change mitigation. With support from 20 agency partners, Portland’s 2015 Climate Action Plan is a strategy to put the city on a path to achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels.
- Salt Lake City (UT): Salt Lake City developed a comprehensive and well-integrated portfolio of programs and policies, including renewable energy, transportation, code revisions, water systems, and building policies as priorities. The city established a joint resolution to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and 50 percent below 2020 levels by 2040.
- San Francisco (CA): The city of San Francisco has established some of the most aggressive climate and sustainability targets in the nation, covering a broad range of sectors, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, water, green infrastructure, and waste. With robust goals to measure progress, San Francisco aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2017, and 40 percent by 2025.
- Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (MI): The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians demonstrates a holistic approach to climate action and preparedness through their energy strategy, emergency operations plan, integrated resource management plan, solid waste management plan, sustainable development code, and land use planning process, with ambitious goals including a net-zero energy goal. The tribe aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 percent per year.
- Seattle (WA): Adopted in June 2013, Seattle’s Climate Action Plan focuses on city actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience while also supporting vibrant neighborhoods, economic prosperity, and social equity. The plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2017, and by 40 percent by 2025.
- Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (CA): The Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) is the nation’s first local government agency created specifically to address climate change. The RCPA has committed to pursue a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels through formal partnerships, pooling resources (financial and human), and working across silos.