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8 U.S. cities and counties commit to prepare for climate change

November 19th, 2010

From Green Right Now Reports

Eight cities and counties have committed to prepare for climate change effects and will participate in a new program on adapting to a new warmer world set up by ICLEI, an association devoted to helping cities and counties become more sustainable.

Image shows what would happen to Florida under a 5 meter sea level rise or 10 meter sea level rise (light blue).

By working with ICLEI’s program — called Climate Resilient Communities (CRC) — the cities will try to find ways to keep their infrastructure, roads, water sources and citizens safe from the effects of climate change. For instance, in Miami-Dade County, officials will look at ways to protect freshwater aquifers from intrusion by salt water caused by rising sea levels and storm-related flooding, problems that are already beginning to affect the area, according to ICLEI.

Other cities, facing different outcomes from climate change, will try to mitigate the heat island effect by planting more vegetation or protect themselves from heavier snows, which are occurring more frequently because of climate change.

The cities and local governments that have signed onto the program include:

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Lee County, Florida
  • Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC)
  • Tucson, Arizona

They will receive “cutting-edge online tools, technical support, and other resources from ICLEI to accelerate their efforts to prepare for climate impacts that already affect their regions,” according to ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.

“Local governments have a responsibility to protect people, property, and natural resources, and these leading communities wisely recognize that climate change is happening now, and that they must begin planning for impacts that will only become more severe in the coming decades,” said Martin Chávez, ICLEI USA Executive Director and former three-term mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“For more than five years, local governments have expressed an urgent need for resources and guidance to help them prepare their communities for climate impacts, and ICLEI USA is proud to finally release these groundbreaking resources.”

All 600 cities and local governments that belong to ICLEI (pronounced ICK-LEE) will be able to use information from the new Climate Resilient Communities program. But the inaugural signers will receive additional technical assistance that will help them assess their vulnerabilities and plan for climate changes.


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