Seattle, WA (November 1, 2007)- This report is about U.S. cities’ efforts to conserve energy and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that threaten our planet. It is based on information submitted by mayors who applied for the First Annual Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards and by mayors who participated in the Seattle Summit. For Alliance for Community Trees members there is an opportunity to target our greenest mayors with suggestions about how to use this Guide.
Some highlights related to trees include:
Annapolis, MD- Take a Deep Breath Tree Planting Program
Trenton, NJ- Trenton Green
Columbus, OH- Green Space Expansion
Minneapolis, MN- Parks and Recreation Board Tree Planting Efforts with Tree Trust
New York, NY- Million Trees Initiative
Santa Ana, CA- Tree Program
Santa Barbara, CA- Green Elements Program
Miami, FL- Tree Canopy Remediation Program
Two years ago the Conference of Mayors unanimously endorsed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Nearly 700 mayors have signed onto the Agreement- including the mayors of cities whose initiatives are described in this report- and the number continues to rise. The initiative, launched by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, commits participating cities to:
1) Striving to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities, through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest restoration projects to public information campaigns;
2) Urging their state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol – a seven percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and
3) Urging the U.S. Congress to pass greenhouse gas reduction legislation which would establish a national emission trading system.
In recent years, the Conference has increasingly called attention to the need for global climate protection, focusing on renewable energy sources, national standards for climate change, building standards and practices, and transportation options. Conference President Palmer unveiled a 10-Point Plan in January during the Winter Meeting in Washington, which makes enactment of a new Energy and Environmental Block Grant the Conference’s top legislative initiative for the 110th Congress.
This report provides a wide range of illustrations of how cities are tackling the need to conserve energy and other resources and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and what they are accomplishing as a result of their efforts. These best practices vary greatly in size, scope, cost, and focus. Some are well established and some are just getting underway, but all have ideas to offer on how to protect our cities today and our planet in the years ahead.
Climate Protection Strategies and Best Practices Guide
Mayors Climate Protection Center