A Framework for Local Action on Climate Change

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While climate change affects us all, it hits families living paycheck to paycheck the hardest. In a world of growing inequities, it is not mere coincidence that the poorest among us not only live and work in areas most prone to flooding, heat waves, and other climate change effects but are also least resourced to prepare adequately for and withstand those impacts. Fortunately, city officials and community leaders across the country are taking steps to improve climate change resilience, along with addressing associated economic, racial, and social equity issues. Progress is most notable in the following cities, each of which is featured in this report: Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Berkeley, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; New Bedford, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon; San Jose, California; Seattle, Washington; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Toledo, Ohio; and Washington, D.C.

Along with those examples, this report offers recommendations for mayors on designing and implementing strategies to build just and resilient cities and to create new economic opportunities for many of the people left behind by recent economic booms. The report findings reveal that climate change policies and preparedness strategies are most effective, and draw the most support from residents and community groups, if they are designed through inclusive processes and address the intersecting problems of racial, income, and environmental inequalities. In addition, climate solutions are the most successful when city leaders partner with community groups to set priorities and shape those solutions. By embracing strategies that support pathways to a just economy while reducing extreme weather, flooding, and other climate change risks, city officials can expand access to living wages and safe jobs, quality schools and affordable housing, and safe and sustainable neighborhoods.

52 Profiles on Agroecology: Main Street Project

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For more than a decade, Main Street Project has been working to create new possibilities for the growing numbers of rural Latino immigrants stranded in low-wage farming and food industry jobs with no benefits and no future. We tried developing training programs for specialized and advanced skills which, in theory, could help these workers leverage new job opportunities and increase their incomes. In practice, however, we discovered that our “modern” industrial food system was built largely on a foundation of low-wage labour, public subsidy and externalized environmental costs, and no amount of training was going to fundamentally change that. We didn’t just need a new approach, we needed a new system.

Anticipating and Preventing the Spread of Invasive Plants

Read the full case study in the Climate Resilience Toolkit.

Joshua Smith serves as Restoration Program Manager for the non-profit Watershed Research and Training Center. The Center is based in the once-booming timber town of Hayfork, California, and Smith coordinates many wildland stewardship efforts across the Klamath region. One of the biggest challenges he faces in his work is preventing the spread of invasive plants. “It’s one of the top ways we can protect the health of our forests and rivers,” says Smith.

In light of climate change, Smith recognizes that controlling invasive species is more important than ever. As conditions shift and seed-carrying wildlife move along corridors that link key habitat areas, aggressive invasive plants may become established in new areas first—keeping native plants from gaining footholds in newly suitable locations. Smith promotes addressing the existing threat of invasive species as an immediate no-regrets action people can take to support the resiliency of wildland ecosystems.

Better Soil, Better Climate

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The soil health management system an Ohio farmer practices increases crop productivity, reduces costs for fertilizer and pesticides, and sequesters carbon in the soil. Both locally and globally, he encourages other farmers to adopt his methods.

Precise Soil, Climate, and Weather Data Help Dairy Optimize Water Use

Read the full story in the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit.

For irrigated crops, knowing when and how much water to apply has long been a matter of experience and guesswork. In a changing climate, new technology can reduce this uncertainty, enabling farmers to make every drop of water count.

Case Study: Bakery Implements Dry Ice Cleaning

Read the full story in Food Manufacturing.

A Texas bakery was seeking a solution to its cleaning problem. It previously was utilizing the traditional cleaning method of pressure washing and manual hand-washing. But those methods proved laborious and time-consuming, and produced too many negative side effects, including secondary wastewater. The bakery decided to implement a dry ice cleaning system into its plant, and the new system dramatically reduced the amount of people and time required to clean the equipment by hand. The bakery was able to recoup 24-30 hours per person, which can now be allocated to other cleaning and maintenance projects.

Webinar: The Power of Chemical Footprinting

June 6, 2017, 10am CDT
Register at https://www.chemicalfootprint.org/news/event/the-power-of-chemical-footprinting

Explore the value of calculating the chemical footprint for your company by hearing how one company took this on for the first time, from the Pure Strategies’ report, The Power of Chemical Footprinting.

Radio Flyer identified this is an improvement opportunity after taking the Chemical Footprint Project survey last year and the idea of measuring chemicals of concern resonated with the company’s approach and provided a common and easily understood metric to track progress in chemicals management.

Radio Flyer will share their experience and, along with their research partner, Pure Strategies, will provide tips and insight on how to get the most value and progress from this effort and the Chemical Footprint Project, to drive toward safer materials.

See also the Pure Strategies report on Radio Flyer’s transition to greater chemical transparency and safer products and supply chains. Free registration is required for download.