Summary: As comprehensivefederal-level climate legislation stallsin the U.S. Congress, cities andregions across the United Statesare responding to the challengeof climate change through localaction and policies. As CDP fellowAnne Mariani posits in this policybrief, Climate Action Plans are a keyelement of these efforts, as theyprovide both the goals and methodsfor achieving carbon emissionreductions at the local level.By closely examining the plans of Pittsburgh, Denver, and Seattle, the author outlines a number of lessons for other cities and regions,especially those in Europe, attempt-ing to complement national policywith local action.
Comparative Domestic Policy Program
In recent years, local climate leadershave emerged throughout the UnitedStates taking bold initiatives on climateprotection to demonstrate the capacity o cities in eectively reducing greenhousegas emissions. The U.S. Mayors ClimateProtection agreement, perhaps the best-known o these initiatives, has more thanone thousand members ater ve years,and recently inspired the European Com-mission to launch a similar initiative orEuropean cities. The early commitmento these local leaders has helped advancethe idea that metropolitan areas play akey role in addressing energy and climateissues.In France, at a time when localclimate action plans are about to becomethe rule as a result o the “Grenelle del’Environnement” bill, what can we learnrom the U.S. experience? In light o theirsuccesses and challenges, what do weknow about local climate action that canbe replicated in the French context?These are the questions I looked toanswer as a ellow with the GermanMarshall Fund’s Comparative DomesticPolicy (CDP) Program. Between Octoberand December 2009, I conducted eldresearch on U.S. climate action plans atthe city and regional level. This policy brie summarizes my ndings and thelessons learned rom the cities o Pittsburgh, Denver, and Seattle. Thissample is certainly not exhaustive, but itdid oer me the opportunity to discovera variety o approaches, perspectives, andcommitments to climate protection inU.S. cities.
Pittsburgh: A poly-nuclear climateinitiative, a process in early stages
Among all post-industrial cities in theAmerican Rust Belt, Pittsburgh is well-known or its capacity or regeneration,thanks to a strong local coalition o pub-lic and private stakeholders. The recentadoption o the Pittsburgh Climate Initia-tive makes Pittsburgh an interesting city to investigate how climate protection may be a part o a broader project to ensure acity’s uture development.The development o a climate actionplan or the city o Pittsburgh was initi-ated in 2006 by the previous mayor, BobO’Connor, and by City CouncilmanWilliam Peduto. A Green GovernmentTask Force (GGTF) was ormed to
Energy and Climate Change: A New Driver for LocalPolicy and Action?
An overview of three American initiatives
by Anne Mariani
1744 R Street NWWashington, DC 20009T 1 202 683 2650F 1 202 265 1662E email@example.com
April 20, 2010
Anne Mariani is in charge of air quality, climate and energy programs and policies at the Regional Council of Brittany, France.Currently on leave from that position, Ms. Mariani is working as an environmental planner at the Metropolitan Washington Councilof Governments. In the fall of 2009, Ms. Mariani was a fellow of the German Marshall Fund’s (GMF) Comparative Domestic Policyprogram. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of GMF.