‘Leading with Local Action’ report shows U.S. local governments upholding their end of the climate deal

As the leading network of U.S. local governments working to build a just, resilient, and sustainable future, ICLEI USA is committed to meeting our member governments—including 53 new members—where they are with industry-leading tools, protocols, and 2,112 hours of direct technical assistance last year.

This Leading with Local Action report recounts some of the insights gained through our engagement with cities, towns, and counties over one year.

For instance, of the communities actively using ClearPath to create 336 community-scale and 196 government-operations GHG inventories in 2019, a significant portion are located in states where ICLEI led local climate action cohorts: California, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Having hosted two dozen of these cohorts, we are beginning to see the impact of scaling action regionally (see Pages 12 to 14).

The standards that ICLEI helped create for communities to carry out their climate work continue to lead the industry: the Contribution Analysis toolkit garnered 581 downloads, allowing for communities seeking to understand the drivers of GHG change to control for factors such as population change, weather, and economic growth. Meanwhile, the U.S. Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions was downloaded 887 times last year, no doubt bolstered by the release of the Forest & Trees Appendix update (see Page 8).

And while GHG management and climate action planning remain central themes for our network, their intersections with equity (see Page 15), resilience, biodiversity (Page 18) and the circular economy saw significant interest this year.

As we enter the “Decade of Local Action” in 2020—and celebrate milestone birthdays for ICLEI, Earth Day, and the UN system—we are encouraged by the strength of our network to step up and uphold the nation’s end of key planet-supporting deals. Our forecast on Page 23 aims to help communities navigate the road ahead; one where local governments tackle shared challenges together, often contributing to global efforts, but leading with local action.

View the full report