Tackling Climate Change City By City: Earth Day Network
This week we launch a new series on the blog where we highlight the great advocacy work of Alliance for Justice members. Many Bolder Advocacy blog readers may not know, but AFJ is an alliance of more than 100 national, regional, and local organizations working for a wide range of progressive causes, including civil rights, human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, and consumer rights, and ensuring legal representation for all Americans. Click here for more information on the benefits of becoming an AFJ member organization.
AFJ Member Spotlight: Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network is the international nonprofit organization behind Earth Day. Leveraging our network of over 22,000 partners and organizations in 192 countries, Earth Day Network’s mission is to broaden, diversify, and mobilize the environmental movement. We work on a host of different issues year round, from education to public policy to tree plantings. For Earth Day, each year we develop a theme to help unite the different activities taking place around the world; this year’s theme is Green Cities.
Current campaign: Earth Day Green Cities
The Green Cities campaign was launched as the official theme of Earth Day 2014 to help cities become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint. Focused on three key elements – buildings, energy, and transportation – the campaign aims to help cities accelerate their transition to a cleaner, healthier, and more economically viable future through improvements in efficiency, investments in renewable technology, and regulation reform. To learn more about the campaign and see how you can get involved, please visit www.earthday.org/greencities.
Advocacy lesson: Sharing best practices spurs action in cities
In the absence of comprehensive international and national climate change policies, cities are going to play a vital role in achieving a more sustainable future. A select number of cities are already implementing innovative green programs and policies that, if replicated worldwide, could drastically reduce our global carbon footprint. We were surprised to learn that most cities in the US and the rest of the world are interested in finding ways to replicate those initiatives – they just need outside support and encouragement.
So we created a database of successful sustainable programs and policies from around the world and started sharing it with cities. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Most cities do not have the capacity or resources to create new programs from scratch and, often, are unaware of similar programs that are already in existence elsewhere. If we want cities to be the catalysts for change, we need to do a better job empowering them with the right tools and resources and connecting them with experts.
Who inspires you?
We are inspired by the people, organizations, and businesses that prioritize sustainability and are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. They are the heart and soul of the environmental movement. We are incredibly grateful for all of their efforts.