City and County Leaders Launch ICLEI150 Race to Resilience in the United States

Today, ICLEI USA announced its support of U.S. local and regional governments in the Cities Race to Resilience, a global initiative of the United Nations that aims to build the resilience of 4 billion vulnerable people globally to climate risks. 

On the occasion of the ICLEI World Congress Malmö Summit; 4 cities, towns, and counties announce the launch of the ICLEI150 Race to Resilience, an effort to significantly advance local resilience-building efforts and demonstrate U.S. leadership in the global Cities Race to Resilience initiative. With ICLEI USA support, these communities will conduct climate risk and vulnerability assessments and implement high-impact resilience actions;

  • Travis County, Texas
  • Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee
  • Oberlin, Ohio
  • Olympia, Washington

Endangering the lives and livelihoods of Americans, the Office of Management and Budget notes that the fiscal risk of climate change is “immense” with a potential to reduce U.S. GDP by as much as 10 percent by 2100. ICLEI USA launches the ICLEI150 in the Race to Resilience support program as a means to help local governments bring greater clarity around climate-related risk into their planning and processes. This support will prepare participants to demonstrate climate-informed decision-making around infrastructure investments, planning activities, community well-being initiatives and more. The program follows a model to move cities and counties from conducting climate vulnerability assessments through defining resilience visions, prioritizing actions through community-led processes, and reporting annually on the progress of one or more high-impact actions.

“We as local elected officials must do everything in our power to prepare our residents for the impacts of climate change,” said Commissioner Brigid Shea, Precinct 2, Travis County, Texas, and ICLEI USA Board Chair. “This requires that we pursue creative initiatives to make our communities more resilient. For example, in Travis County we have pioneered neighborhood-based wildfire evacuation drills and have dramatically improved our emergency notification system. ICLEI’s Race to Resilience is the ideal structure to help cities undertake this enormous, life-saving effort.”

“Nashville’s rapid growth presents both challenges and opportunities to execute strategies that maximize environmental benefit, economic growth and social outcomes for all. That’s why I have made making Nashville a greener, more sustainable city a top priority in my Agenda for Neighborhoods and Families,” said Mayor John Cooper, Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee. “The Race to Resilience will provide a framework and technical support that will facilitate creating a more sustainable, resilient and livable city for all.”

“The City of Oberlin recognizes that climate change is here and already impacting our community,” said City Council President Bryan Burgess, City of Oberlin, Ohio. “We are committed to collaborating with all stakeholder organizations to adapt and be resilient; we will take the steps necessary to ensure that all of our residents, and especially those who are most vulnerable to climate disruptions, have the resources necessary to not only survive, but to thrive, as the climate continues to pose challenges to our well-being.”

 “The City of Olympia is excited to make a commitment to the Race to Resilience program. Olympia has been laser-focused on reducing emissions but also understands that it’s critical for our City to adapt to an already changing climate,” said Mayor Cheryl Selby, City of Olympia, Washington. “Our downtown is at significant risk of the impact of sea-level rise and it’s vital that we protect the cultural, historic, and economic core of our City. We’ve taken significant steps already through our Sea Level Rise Response Plan, but there is much more to do to help our City adapt to climate change. Through the Race to Resilience and our partnership with ICLEI, I look forward to advancing this important work in Olympia.”

“These leaders stand ready to take bold action to adapt to the changing climate, accelerate climate resilience in their communities, and spotlight environmental justice and equity,” said Angie Fyfe, ICLEI USA Executive Director. “Because we recognize that climate impacts are impacting our communities in the here and now, resilience-building must happen alongside aggressively reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ICLEI USA is committed to offering the hands-on technical assistance in both the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience to support our members to build equitable approaches to the dual mitigation-adaptation opportunity.”

About ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability

ICLEI USA is an acknowledged leader in local government technical assistance, providing the tools, standards, and programs for local governments to measurably reduce carbon emissions. 

ICLEI is a global network of more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 125+ countries, ICLEI influences sustainability policy and drives local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient and circular development. ICLEI is the focal organization to the United Nations on cities and regions through its role in the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) major group.

Local and Regional governments interested in ICLEI USA support should contact Angelica Greco, ICLEI USA Program Officer at

About the Cities Race to Resilience 

The Cities Race to Resilience, a companion campaign to the Cities Race to Zero, is a global initiative of the COP26 Presidency and High-Level Climate Champions to rally leadership and support from cities, regions, businesses and investors to help frontline communities build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Race to Resilience aims to catalyze action by these groups to build the resilience of 4 billion vulnerable people globally to climate risks. 

Global partners in Cities Race to Zero / Race to Resilience initiatives include C40 Cities, IFRC, MCR2030, UNDRR, UN Habitat, UNOPS, WCCD, The World Bank, Resilient Cities Network, UN Environment Programme, CDP, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, United Cities and Local Governments, WRI, WWF, UCLG, and Global Resilient Cities Network.