During a U.S. focused session at UNFCCC’s 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) on November 16th, United States Best Practices in Funding Multilevel Action: Lessons from U.S. Local Leaders Implementing National Climate Legislation, ICLEI USA announced the three recipients of the ICLEI USA Action Fund, made possible through funding from Google.org.
“Cities are at the forefront of global efforts to decarbonize and are motivated to act. I’m confident that these data-driven, action-oriented projects will serve as lighthouse examples to demonstrate how cross-sector efforts and public-private partnerships can accelerate the transition to a sustainable future.”Andrew Dunckelman, Head of Impact and Insights at Google.org.
The three awards of $1,000,000 each will go to non-governmental organizations, who will help U.S. cities to accelerate climate action through projects that are data-driven, highly replicable, and impactful.
“All applicants focused on equity and decarbonization. The three recipients best demonstrated the ability to leverage the ICLEI USA Action Fund award, innovative use of data-driven approaches, and replicable, scalable actions to tackle the climate emergency in ways that benefit frontline communities.”Angie Fyfe, ICLEI USA Executive Director.
Healthy Homes Program
Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) & City of Denver, Colorado
Building on decades of experience addressing energy burden, EOC seeks to redesign the traditional weatherization (WX) process with a data-led approach to determine cost-avoidance (health+energy) benefits rather than the traditional cost-effectiveness (energy-only) benefits. Partnering with Denver-area hospitals, EOC will create a WX prescription and provide a national model for equitable program development.
“This funding for the Healthy Homes Program will enable us to remove barriers for vulnerable households to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve indoor air quality, and reduce unsafe exposure to pollutants in the home.”Luke Ilderton, Energy Outreach Colorado deputy director.
Home Electrification Equity Project
Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley & The Cities of Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, and Oakland, California
California East Bay cities are tackling the climate emergency and housing affordability crisis in concert. While programs and funds are available to assist low- and moderate-income residents with basic health and safety upgrades, public resources are not fully maximized for climate and environmental justice impacts due to funding restrictions, siloed program delivery, lack of training, and disparate data sources. Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley seeks to create a scalable protocol to integrate climate and public health measures, namely electrification and solar, into low-income housing rehabilitation programs, along with a data model to comprehensively report emissions reductions and non-energy benefits of these holistic upgrades. Data modeling will rely on the expertise of Cal State East Bay’s Department of Public Health, and the resulting targeted home upgrades executed by Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley and partners GRID Alternatives and Rebuilding Together. HEEP is part of the four cities’ equity-driven, science-based climate action plan implementation.
“This award brings collaboration and data into the vital intersection of affordability and sustainability. It means Habitat can do more to foster both housing and environmental justice, strengthening our communities and our planet.”Janice Jensen, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley
Resilient Cities Catalyst
Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC) & City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
RCC seeks to use artificial intelligence to develop a new heat-energy vulnerability index at the property level. The index measurements would provide city decision makers with the ability to more effectively target green infrastructure investments and create opportunities for U.S. cities to explore ways to incentivize properties to reduce heat-contribution.
“Through the ICLEI USA Action Award, we will identify communities most at risk of physical and economical impacts of climate change; identify actionable nature based solutions that directly support these communities; and start the work of implementing the updated plan.”Andrew Salkin, Founding Principal of Resilient Cities Catalyst.
ICLEI USA’s technical experts will work closely with the three recipients in the implementation of these high-impact and data driven projects. To support the non-funded applicants, ICLEI USA will offer programs to improve equitable transportation and energy electrification programs.
Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. It accelerates their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. It engages with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. Google.org wants a world that works for everyone—and believes technology and innovation can move the needle.
About ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability
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. 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.
About Energy Outreach Colorado
Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) leads a network of industry, state, and local partners to Support, Stabilize and Sustain Coloradans so they can afford their home energy needs. For over 30 years, EOC has invested more than $410 million in affordable energy programs statewide and has saved low-income community members millions of dollars through lowered energy use.
About Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley
We believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live. By creating, preserving, and expanding access to affordable housing, we provide families with the opportunity to transform their lives – gaining the strength, stability, and self-reliance they need to build a better future.
OUR INNOVATIVE MODEL maximizes impact by building partnerships with families who contribute sweat equity, volunteers who give their time, and donors who contribute financially. We reinvest mortgage payments and leverage donor dollars to maximize our impact. Families gain economic stability and build a foundation for the future–for themselves, their children, and generations to come.
About Resilient Cities Catalyst
Resilient Cities Catalyst (RCC) drives catalytic change to help regions, cities, and partners solve their most pressing challenges. RCC works towards a vision where cities ensure that all residents, in particular, the most vulnerable, are safer, healthier and thriving in the face of everyday stresses, and are able to withstand and recover quickly after shocks. Through this work, RCC works closely with local government and community partners to improve capacity and break through traditional silos to inspire cross-sectoral collaborations. Together we work to identify, design and implement innovative solutions that build more resilient communities and cities.