Cities Continue to Lead Environmental Efforts amid National and International Inaction

In recent years, local governments across the nation have stepped up to the plate, making solid progress in tackling environmental issues ranging from green education and transportation to energy efficiency and sustainability. Arianna Huffington’s call for cities and mayors across the nation to continue to take initiative to combat climate change where the federal government, unfortunately, has not is dead-on.

Localities aren’t sitting back and waiting; they’re taking matters into their own hands.

Conversations at the 80th Winter Meeting of the United States Conference of the Mayors(USCM) this past week further emphasized the federal governments’ inaction. And as the nation prepares for the president’s State of the Union Address, those of us tuned in to environmental issues hope President Obama will recognize the strong initiatives carried out by local governments in times where national leadership was absent and push Congress to act.

Earth Day Network is partnering with five U.S. cities to reduce their carbon footprints: Fayetteville, Ark.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Bozeman, Mont.; Babylon, N.Y. and Santa Fe County, N.M. fix the states names to develop alternative energy policies and undertake energy efficiency measures as a means to collectively eliminate one million pounds of carbon emissions in time for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012. In Rio where cities are one of the main tracks,.

These cities have established specific goals for, committing to carbon reductions that include. introducing hydro and geothermal energy sources to their power grids, implementing green building codes, developing public transportation infrastructure, greening their auto fleets, installing LED lights in government buildings, implementing programs to educate their communities about sustainability, etc.

These cities realize that the energy savings and public health benefits make economic sense, too. Why is this so?