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Navigating conversations on climate migration in the Great Lakes Region & Beyond

The tantalizing idea of climate migration to the Great Lakes region has been a fixture of Beth Gibbons’ climate adaptation work throughout the past five years. Over that time, she has participated in interviews with regional and national news organizations and published op-eds, and peer reviewed papers and reports, all in an effort to galvanize conversions on the necessary to prepare for this economic and demographic climate impact and to identify what perils and opportunities are waiting for us if we are willing to adapt or not. 

A newly released book by Abrahm Lustgarten and a companion article in the Atlantic, features an interview between him and Beth back in 2021. Re-reading the interview and preparing for a new round of interviews on this topic, she has been reflecting on what has changed and what remains the same about her opinions, perspectives and experience addressing climate migration over the past several years. Here are her observations:

  1. She stresses that it is about the entire cycle. That includes where people leave and where people go. Working on this issue has reinforced for her that we cannot limit conversations based on ‘sending’ or ‘receiving’ communities. Rather conversations, policies and interventions need to consider the entire migration process. 
  2. Related to point one is that we need to resist narratives of winners and losers, and recognize climate impacts and their effect on our interconnected national and global  economy. Additionally, ‘climate havens’ or receiving communities, should be collaborating and sharing model policies and programs that build welcoming places and effective natural resource stewardship. 
  3. More than ever, it is about leading with equity and deep empathy. Conversations about climate migration are conversations full of grief. Whether it is the loss of home that those who are choosing to move are experiencing or it is the change that receiving communities are going through in their own demographics, economics and even climate, these shifts are difficult and that cannot be overlooked or underestimated. 
  4. Most places remain underprepared for all impacts of climate change, but especially are slow to consider climate driven economic and demographic change. In order to move toward more equitable futures, and for communities to minimize loss and maximize benefits it is necessary to begin work today imagining the future we want and be ready to put into place the policies and programs that will enable that future to emerge. 
  5. We’re drawn to looking at the latest census data to understand these shifts, but we must also watch signals from industry. Companies and industry sectors seeking an abundance of water, fertile land, and secure port access are likely to be early movers. Being aware of those industry changes can help inform the types of policies we need in order to prepare for economic and industrial changes, while caring for the people and natural assets.

Lustgarten’s new book includes a bold quote from Beth, “There’s no future in which many, many people don’t head here”. Beth shares that she has “had to sit with that quote for the last few days, reflecting on whether or not she is still so bullish on climate driven migration. She concludes, yes, the more we learn about the climatic tipping points, the more we experience climate fueled storms, and the more we see the quiet exit of insurance from high risk markets, the more certain it looks that people will be forced into motion. But those “push” factors are only part of the story. Happily, there is incredible progress happening to prepare communities – and states for a new climate future!  This is especially true in her home state of Michigan, but it is happening in other states too. There are programs that are building the clean energy workforce, growing innovative and green technologies, using nature based solutions to curb the impacts of climate change, and transferring decision making authority and power to Tribes and community organizations. 

Beth is committed to helping to create the low carbon, climate resilient future so many of us are working to create. She helps to lead these initiatives at Farallon Strategies where she is the Social Governance and National Resilience Lead. She was the Founding Executive Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, she served on the search committee hire the inaugural executive director of the Climigration Network; she organized one of the first large-scale climate and demography workshops in the United States, focused on bringing together the science of climate change and demography to create useable interdisciplinary resources that decision makers can and would be willing to use. She has published peer reviewed papers on understanding how communities across the Midwest consider climate migration as an opportunity, and contributed to the traceable accounts pointing out the lack of literature on climate induced migration in the Midwest in the 5th National Climate Assessment. While expertise is fleeting in a field as yet nascent and iterative as climate adaptation – or even climate migration – Beth has worked diligently to carve out an expert space and works even more diligently to continue learning and adapting her understanding of this complex topic. Connect with Beth: beth@farallonstrategies.com

Photo Credit: Daniel Brown

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Beth Gibbons joins Farallon Strategies

Farallon Strategies is excited to welcome Beth Gibbons to the team as Social Governance and National Resilience Lead! Beth joins Farallon Strategies from her previous post as Executive Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals. Along with deep relationships across the climate profession and movement, Beth brings nearly twenty years of experience working on climate adaptation, sustainable development, community engagement, and partnership building to her role at Farallon Strategies. Her past climate portfolio includes developing and executing climate adaptation plans, strategies, and projects at multiple scales of government and across sectors. She has worked with community organizations, tribes and indigenous communities, and BIPOC led institutions as an advisor, partner and advocate ensuring that the lived experience, expertise and demands of these communities are prioritized in local, state, and federal adaptation initiatives.

Beth has extensive experience leading climate science-focused studies. These include improving integration of hydrologic and climate data into models for improved downscaled climate information across eight states and two provinces of the U.S. and Canada; a regional synthesis of the Third National Climate Assessment; co-production and cross sectoral knowledge sharing; and measuring the effectiveness of co-production models to support the application of climate data in local decision making. She is a current co-author of the Fifth National Climate Assessment, due out in 2023.

When Beth and Michael first started exploring her coming to work at Farallon Strategies she told him, “I want to work on projects that will advance our adaptation and mitigation goals, build more resilient communities and economies, and unleash the abundance of resources that are out there for deep transformational change. I want to advise and collaborate with clients and partners who want to dare to fail and are willing to make and break models until we find what works best for them.”

Farallon Strategies team is excited to have Beth join our dynamic team at Farallon Strategies and provide leadership in our relationship-based approach to working with clients as they seek to understand climate impacts, implement policies and practices which advance equitable climate solutions, and build durable and transformational change.

Book cover: This is How You Los the Time War, featuring photos of two birds

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Beth’s Current Favorite Book: This is How You Lose the Time War (bonus – it’s a novella!)

Why? As a science fiction lover, I revel in the time paradox that equitable climate resilience poses: We are forced to reconcile our past failings and missteps (intentional and unintentional) with an uncertain and rapidly changing future, all while moving at the speed of trust and with the urgency of the climate crisis.

Forest photo by Annie Nyle on Unsplash

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Welcome Annie Howley!

Farallon Strategies is excited to welcome Annie Howley to the team. Annie is a Graduate Project Associate at Farallon Strategies and is passionate about preserving natural resources, encouraging sustainable practices, and supply chain management. Annie has organized numerous electric utility and multi-level government stakeholder meetings and events, written and edited regulatory filings, and developed strong industry relationships across the country. Her experience as an energy markets consultant helping to build resilient, reliable, and efficient electricity grids is now helping clients of Farallon Strategies build climate change resilient communities and coalitions, policies, governance, and stakeholder engagement. Over the past six years, Annie has worked with an international consulting firm supporting electric utilities with their distribution system planning efforts to modernize the electric grid. Prior to that Annie was a key contributor for non-profits working to transform energy policy in California.

Annie is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in International Environmental Policy with Spanish from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. Annie’s Master’s specialization is in Sustainability Management and her focus is the conservation of tropical rainforests, primarily in Central and South America, through both voluntary industry action and collaborative government-private sector initiatives. Most recently, Annie supported the university in developing websites focused on social science research methods and analytical tools. In her spare time, Annie volunteers with the California Academy of Sciences, Big Sur Land Trust, and the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Services.

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Welcome Christina Oraftik!

Christina Oraftik is the Project Associate at Farallon Strategies bringing a multidisciplinary background with experience in climate policy, wildfire resilience, and nature-based adaptation solutions both internationally and domestically. Having worked with several Indigenous communities, she has experience in incorporating traditional ecological knowledge frameworks and holistic environmental viewpoints. With skills in research, writing, communication, and a variety of analytical tools, she has experience in taking complex and technical information down to the essential key takeaways suited for a variety of audiences.

Christina started her environmental career at an NGO creating community-based conservation and infrastructure projects on islands throughout the world. Her work included managing a broad array of project types from microloan programs for women protecting mangroves in Sri Lanka to peat moss bog restoration in Ireland. She then returned to school to get her Masters of Arts in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. While pursuing her graduate degree, she was able to work on a variety of local projects and get rooted in California’s environmental policy world. This included projects such as a study on nature-based adaptation for transportation and wetlands, wildfire resilience building, and local environmental education. 

A naturalist at heart, Christina enjoys learning the names and characteristics of all the plants and animals around her. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, climbing, foraging edible and medicinal plants, and finding fun rocks.
We are so excited to have Christina join our team! Please reach out to her and connect on LinkedIn.


Welcome Christina!

Farallon Strategies partners with the Institute for Local Government and The Strategic Growth Council on the Boost Technical Assistance Program

Press Release: California Strategic Growth Council Announces Second Round of BOOST Program to Help Under-Resourced Communities Address Climate Change. This technical assistance program supports under-resourced cities and towns in building capacity, optimizing existing resources, strengthening community partnerships, and transforming their approach to address and fund climate activities.

Sacramento – Today, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) released an application survey for the BOOST Program, a state-wide program tailored to help California cities and towns advance their climate action, resilience, and equity objectives. The program is administered through a partnership between SGC, the Institute for Local Government (ILG), Climate Resolve, California Coalition for Rural Housing, and Farallon Strategies.

This technical assistance program supports under-resourced cities and towns in building capacity, optimizing existing resources, strengthening community partnerships, and transforming their approach to address and fund climate activities. The 2021 BOOST Program is based on the BOOST Pilot Program which helped 10 cities and two regions build capacity to advance their climate and equity goals. The 18-month pilot was designed to provide flexible and responsive technical assistance to address the varying and evolving capacity challenges of local governments, while also sharing best practices and lessons learned to help inform state programs.

The BOOST Pilot Program proved to be a success in some of California’s under-resourced communities. In the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the BOOST Pilot Program enabled the town to secure a $20 million Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) as well as SB 2 and Local Early Action Plant (LEAP) grant funding to support the development of “The Parcel,” the town’s largest workforce housing project. The development will provide 400 affordable housing units on a 25-acre plot of land in the middle of town. In the City of Arcata, the BOOST Team helped secure more than $14.9 million dollars through five different grant programs to help bring infill affordable housing and critical infrastructure to the Arcata community. This includes one of the first Affordable Housing Sustainable Community (AHSC) grants awarded to a Native American tribe.

The Pilot connected the BOOST Program participants to 59 grant opportunities and provided direct application assistance on 23 grants, leading to over $50 million in new funding. This funding included $43 million in California Climate Investments (CCI) and $6.6 million in SB2/LEAP grants to support planning, affordable housing, equitable transportation, and climate mitigation and resilience projects.

For the upcoming round of the BOOST Program, SGC will select 5-7 disadvantaged and/or low-income communities to receive capacity building support in the form of trainings, partnership development, community engagement planning and implementation support, grant application assistance, and communications support. The application is open to all California cities and towns that are designated as low income and/or disadvantaged communities , with priority given to both rural and non-rural communities with demonstrated staff capacity challenges.

“The BOOST Pilot Program strengthened the ability of local governments to achieve climate and equity goals while providing access to new funding, developing innovative partnerships, and improving community engagement,” said Jessica Buendia, Acting Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council. “We are eager to work with the Institute for Local Government and their project partners to build on the Pilot’s success and witness how more of California’s communities benefit from BOOST’s refined programming.”

“The Institute for Local Government is excited to partner with SGC to continue the BOOST Program,” said Erica L. Manuel, CEO and Executive Director of the Institute for Local Government. “Through the initial BOOST Pilot Program, we helped under-resourced communities access nearly $50 million in state grant funding, create and update climate action and resilience plans, and authentically engage their communities on climate and equity initiatives. We are looking forward to building on what we learned to help even more communities reach their goals and build capacity.”

The application for the BOOST Program will be open until September 10, 2021. Finalists will be contacted for an interview before September 22, 2021. SGC aims to announce the selected communities on or before October 6, 2021. Access the application here.

SGC will host an informational webinar for this opportunity on August 17, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. PDT. The webinar will be recorded and posted to SGC’s YouTube page for those interested but unable to attend. Register here.

To find out more about the successes and lessons learned from the first round of the BOOST Program, visit the Institute for Local Government’s BOOST page.

Media Contact
California Strategic Growth Council:
Luis Jimenez, (916) 695-0049, luis.jimenez@sgc.ca.gov
Institute for Local Government:
Melissa Kuehne, (916) 764-0751, mkuehne@ca-ilg.org

About the California Strategic Growth Council
The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is a cabinet-level body chaired by the Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research tasked with coordinating and working collaboratively with public agencies, communities, and stakeholders to achieve sustainability, equity, economic prosperity, and quality of life for all Californians with a focus on the state’s most disadvantaged communities. SGC implements its mission through four key activities: making investments in infrastructure and conservation programs; conducting outreach and providing technical assistance to support of communities seeking to access these investments; and leading and supporting integrated policy initiatives that align with SGC’s mission. Learn more at sgc.ca.gov.

About the Institute for Local Government
The Institute for Local Government (ILG) is the non-profit training and education affiliate of the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, and the California Special Districts Association, which represent 1000s of local agencies across the state. ILG helps local officials and staff navigate the constantly changing landscape of their jobs by offering training, technical assistance, written resources, and facilitation services specifically designed for local agencies. From leadership to public engagement to housing and workforce, ILG helps local leaders with a wide range of issues. Visit www.ca-ilg.org to find out more.

About the California Coalition for Rural Housing
Formed in 1976, California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH) is a 501c3 non-profit and is the oldest statewide low-income housing coalition in the country. The CCRH brings 40 years of affordable housing and community development technical assistance, research, and program and policy development, in addition to a rich network of partners throughout the state and across the nation.

About Climate Resolve
Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based 501c3 tax-deductible non-profit organization founded in 2010 that focuses on local solutions to global climate change and works to achieve outcomes that bestow multiple benefits. Climate Resolve works to make California more equitable, just, livable, prosperous, and sustainable today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate impacts.

About Farallon Strategies
Farallon Strategies (FS) is a catalytic partner to communities and organizations that take bold actions to address climate change and resilience. FS collaborates with stakeholders across the United States to pilot, test, and/or scale initiatives. Our expertise is rooted in our diversity of experiences and passion for creating a better world.

Reimagining planning – the need to prioritize community led climate resilience initiatives

By Carolyn Yvellez and Michael McCormick

​The concept of resilience has gained popularity in the last year as we begin to recover from compounding crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and killing of many others at the hands of police, and the worst wildfire season on record in California. Resilience has historically been defined as the ability to return to normal after a singular disrupting event. However, in this day and age, resilience has taken a new form, and “normal” is harder to define. To effectively respond to these complex yet interrelated crises, this last year has made clear the need to fundamentally shift how we build the core capacity of our communities to respond to acute shocks and long term stress. It is in this context that Farallon Strategies was founded to support a transformation in our communities and regions needed to meet these challenges and leverage the moment to support true systems change. 

Of course, the practice of resilience is not new, especially for low-income communities of color who know no other way but to continuously adapt to hardships and barriers brought about by perpetrated discrimination and institutional racism. The climate adaptation and resilience field, however, is relatively new. It has occupied a niche, but burgeoning space within the urban planning field–planning being the de facto process through which statesregional collaboratives, and local governments opted to address climate impacts. But as it gains popularity and importance, it is worth reflecting on the history and evolution of the planning field, identifying its shortfalls, and ultimately reimagine what the practice of resilience should be moving forward to bring about the transformative change our communities need. 

Climate adaptation and resilience plans too often do not reflect or address the needs of frontline communities. Traditional planning processes often feature a top-down approach to community engagement. In many instances, draft plans are written by the time the community has an opportunity to engage and provide feedback. This challenging dynamic can be destructive to building trust in communities that have already experienced first hand the consequences of planning without community consent. It is time to support a paradigm shift around climate resilience planning to center community priorities by empowering frontline communities to not only participate in, but lead decision-making processes to support the transition from incremental progress to transformational change.

In order to facilitate this shift in climate resiliency planning, practitioners must first acknowledge, as many already already have, the discriminatory history of planning, and its contribution to many of the challenges communities face throughout California. The racist legacy of land dispossessing, redlining, and housing discimination has directly contributed to the heightened vulnerability of low income, communities of color to the impacts of climate change. Previously dispossessed communities face dire climate-warming impacts and redlined communities, to this day, have fewer trees and higher concentrations of impervious pavement (concrete/asphalt) compared to non-redlined communities. And yet, the practice of planning, quite ironically, has assumed the responsibility of (re)building resilient communities in the face of climate change. 

California has been at the forefront of policies designed to combat climate change. However, for some cities and counties, State legislation mandating planning for climate impacts has increased the burden on low-resource communities that still lack basic infrastructure and services, while local governments do not have staff capacity to navigate complex planning processes. Moreover, the push for plan integration has left many local governments scrambling to navigate a complex regulatory environment with ambiguous (and at times conflicting) guidance, resulting in the explosion of the for-profit consulting sector. Consultants, as a result, are tasked with developing not only tools and frameworks to support local planning, but also the plans themselves. The average general plan update cycle for a jurisdiction in California can cost several million dollars–an expense that is rooted in the lack of capacity for local governments to do the work in house, and exacerbating a cycle of outsourcing that leaves communities with a well-polished document, but little direction on how to implement policies and programs. And even more challenging is that jurisdictions doing it well (jurisdictions that have met and exceeded regulatory mandates around climate action and adaptation, and have allocated the funds to hire planning consultants) have not progressed to the implementation phase, often due to lack of governance structures or funding.

Given these realities, resilience practitioners need to categorically rethink the existing planning paradigm wherein cities outsource plan development to consulting firms with little awareness or accountability to the communities impacted by the plans. Equitable planning processes are only made equitable by meeting communities where they are, with timely and meaningful engagement by those with a stake in the plan and capacity to engage. In order to achieve the transformational change that yields resilient, empowered communities, we need to flip the paradigm. This change in approach could be facilitated by defunding the traditional “fee for service”, consultant-led model of delivering template based documents with a focus on statutory compliance and limited regard for community need. This shift would create capacity and provide funding for other levers of change, including community visioning and capacity-building where the consultant’s expertise is given as-needed to the community-led planning process. 

The responsibility of this paradigm shift does not fall solely on consultants. We recognize that planning consultants are typically required to respond to and execute a scope of work that is laid out in a request for proposals (RFP), typically written by local jurisdictions whose priority is to ensure regulatory compliance through standard practices. Firms that propose alternate scopes of work outside of what is specified in the RFP rarely win contracts, much less are invited to interview. This leads to hesitancy by consultants to support an evolution of standard practices, and the simultaneous reinforcement of standard practices that do not meet the needs of our communities. Local jurisdictions must also take responsibility for issuing RFPs with input from the community that reflect community needs and a commitment to an equitable and inclusive planning process. 

Many of our colleagues are locked into these inadequate practices and systems even though they see the change that needs to take place. Farallon Strategies was founded to address the systems change needed to serve our communities better, and bring resources and capacity to communities in support of the paradigm shift we need to build community resilience  in the face of overlapping and worsening shocks and stresses. Farallon Strategies is committed to advancing community-driven planning processes at the regional and local scale by supporting community based organizations and regional collaboratives with technical assistance and facilitation support in an as-needed capacity. We don’t just want to identify the issues facing our areas of practice, Farallon Strategies also supports disruption in standard RFP practices, and is working to support more innovative RFPs and technical assistance alternatives to traditional planning practices.

Farallon Strategies is supporting the Sustainable Economies Law Center in the development of The Oakland People’s Plan proposal for the City of Oakland’s General Plan. Their proposal seeks to turn the planning paradigm on its head. Instead of a planning firm subcontracting to community based organizations (CBOs), the CBOs would lead a truly community-driven planning process, and sub-contract out as necessary the required technical analysis in support of specific general plan elements required by the state. The Oakland People’s Plan (TOPP) offers Oakland an opportunity to center the community in Oakland’s General Plan development. TOPP has no agenda other than to allow the people of Oakland to plan. TOPP intends to make space for infinite possibilities for the General Plan, not control its content. TOPP has obtained informal commitments from planning firms that may become subcontractors, and community groups will determine planning firms’ involvement, not the other way around.

Farallon Strategies, in partnership with Consero Solutions, is also supporting implementation of Yolo County’s Climate Emergency Resolution, which sets an ambitious goal of carbon negative by 2030. We are helping to lift voices into the process and build capacity in the County and community to respond to this potentially transformative effort to stand up a diverse community focused climate action commission, develop and implement an updated climate action plan, and create a more resilient community. We see our role as facilitators and capacity builders supporting partnerships between community leaders, local government, and technical experts helping to plan and implement climate initiatives and solutions that address community needs and priorities. We are serving as an extension of the County team by assisting with the recruitment and hiring of critical staff, bringing forward AmeriCorps CivicSpark members to build capacity to move quickly, supporting the development of an advisory commission, and providing guidance to support inclusive decision-making processes.

In the status quo, private firms are doing the work that responds to standard engagement practices.  In many instances, private firms are serving clients who view responsiveness to request for proposals, statutory compliance, and legal defensibility as the primary drivers of the work, and not community accountability and outcomes of the planning process as the driver. An equity-driven approach to building resilience to climate impacts should seek to dismantle structures that reinforce the status quo planning service delivery methods, which are failing to address the needs in our communities. 

As we reimagine the future of resilience planning, we should think of planning consultants as capacity builders within the resilience movement, not as the resilience movement itself. Consulting firms, as organizations that support technical assistance, capacity-building, and facilitation between the community and local jurisdictions should be a partner in a community-driven resilience movement. There are obviously exceptions to this critique of our industry, but as the resilience community of practice comes of age we must not repeat the planning mistakes of the past. We must consider, not just what seems to be the most technically efficient solution to community challenges, and rather ask the question, in partnership with the communities we serve: “What modes of planning and governance do we want in our communities and how do we expedite implementation and reorient budgets to reflect the urgency of the climate crisis?” There are no easy answers to this question and we also must recognize that equity readiness varies across organizations. Thus this post should not be read as a prescription on the “right” way to plan, but as an invitation to join us and the others working to evolve our practice, and think about what other possibilities exist that empower communities to chart their own future.

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Investing in regional resilience

By Michael McCormick

​California is facing a number of worsening impacts of climate change now and into the future. LGC, a Farallon Strategies partner, produced a sign-on letter (below), mirrored by #FaraStrat’s own letter (also below), to support a robust investment in this work in this historic budget. The effort is compatible with a number of other priorities reflected in other comment letters coming from other organizations – some of these and other budget priorities are reflected in LGC’s blog post <here>. ​

​See the LGC letter <here> – and consider signing on via the following link. 

Please sign on to this letter <here>.
​Also see Farallon Strategies’ resilience budget letter as an example of a more personalized letter. Feel free to borrow any content for any of these letters for your organization’s comments.

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The state of local climate action planning

By Michael McCormick and Carolyn Yvellez

​The context, opportunity, and need around local climate action is changing. But is local climate planning keeping up? Farallon Strategies staff collaborated with a group of practitioners, convened by City Scale, to answer this question.

The State of U.S. Local Climate Action Planning is a collective statement based on the reflections of a group of climate practitioners that worked, over a series of conversations in 2019, to identify the state of local climate action planning, and how the field can improve to meet aggressive GHG reduction targets while providing community benefit. We found that local climate action planning had reached an inflection point, and progress has become stagnant. In order to achieve the rapid transformational GHG reductions needed, the field must identify lessons learned from the last decade and move beyond traditional climate action planning processes to prioritizing implementation.The work ahead does not live with a single organization or small group of people: we hope these observations support reflection, spark dialogue, and fuel an appetite to work in new direction with new partners. 

This statement was drafted in fall 2019—prior to the emergence of COVID-19, prior to the renewed reckoning with structural racism following the murder of George Floyd, prior to the deeply unequal economic impacts of the pandemic, and prior to the 2020 elections and their aftermath that laid bare the fragility of democratic norms. Personal and community priorities have shifted, a new federal administration is vigorously linking climate change with economic justice, municipal and state budgets are upended, and the global geopolitical order is evolving rapidly.

This is a moment to re-assess, consider where we have been as local climate practitioners, what we have learned, and how we might proceed in the new circumstances ahead. Over the last 18 months, we have heard increasing awareness and discussion around many of the observations outlined in our statement, but even with how much our world has changed in the past 18 months nearly all of our observations remain relevant. 

“The local climate action movement has plateaued…We believe that the next generation of local climate action must be a collective effort, centered around people and values, and focused on opportunities for dramatic systems change.” – The State of U.S. Local Climate Action Planning

In the spirit of collective learning, we share this statement as an expression of the state of the local government climate field in 2019, acknowledging that 2020 brought its own set of unique challenges that will further influence the climate action field moving forward.   

Thank you to City Scale for convening this group of thoughtful and collaborative climate professionals, to the contributors below, and to the vast number of perspectives we brought in through engagement of our networks on this issue since 2019.

​Contributors to this statement include:

  • Michael Armstrong, City Scale
  • Derik Broekhoff, Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Katherine Gajewski, City Scale
  • Miya Kitahara, StopWaste
  • ​Michael McCormick, Farallon Strategies
  • Sarah McKinstry-Wu, Urban Sustainability Directors Network
  • Ariella Maron, City Scale
  • Hoi-Fei Mok, PhD, climate equity specialist
  • Tracy Morgenstern, Urban Sustainability Directors Network
  • Michael Steinhoff, Kim Lundgren Associates
  • Brian Swett, formerly City of Boston

Check out the full report here:  The State of Local Climate Planning