Hear from Former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter in the Wall Street Journal article, Why States and Cities Must Lead the Way on Climate Change:
“The truth is that despite the large-scale, global impact of climate change, it is the states and cities, not Washington D.C., that have most of the legal powers to prevent global warming by helping the United States transition to cleaner energy.
“States create energy building codes; localities enforce them. Cities establish the zoning that governs sprawl. They make mobility investments that can simultaneously save adults from traffic jams and children from asthma. State commissions regulate investor-owned electric utilities and the policies that either reward or punish customers who want to produce their own power. Legislatures decide whether to establish goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy. In fact, the renewable energy standards put into effect by nearly 30 states in recent years deserve much of the credit for the rapid growth of solar and wind power in America.
“Cities also can do small things that can have big collective impacts on greenhouse-gas emissions. Urban forestry, green spaces, rooftop gardens, permeable parking lots and natural drainage swales not only bring nature back into the lives of urban residents; they also sequester carbon, help reduce flooding, mitigate urban heat islands, clean the air, recharge groundwater and reduce the amount of energy necessary to move and treat water, typically the largest item on community energy bills.”
Read more on WSJ.com here. Or, click here to hear from the Cities of Oakland and Richmond on what they’re doing on energy and climate.