Cool Cities

The signature project I am working on right now for the Sierra Club is 'Cool Cities.' It's a program to get local governments to make a commitment to doing their part to reduce the impacts of global warming. Mayors sign the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and promise to take measures that will reach the goals laid out within it.

This is a great project for local communities to step up to the plate themselves instead of waiting for someone else to figure out how to deal with climate change.

There are currently six 'Cool Cities' in North Carolina- Asheville, Boone, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Highlands. Throughout the southeast we also have Columbia, Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina on board as well as Williamsburg, Richmond and Alexandria, Virginia among many other cities in South Carolina and Virginia. Notable cities in Georgia and Florida include Atlanta, Tallahassee, and Gainesville.

These cities have a mixture of Democratic and Republican Mayors, and have economies focused on things ranging from research to tourism to industry. But what they all have in common is that they see the perils of climate change and want to do their part. Cool Cities is not a liberal or conservative thing. It's a common sense thing.

Right now we have teams working to make Brevard, Canton, Wilmington, Greenville, Hillsborough, Greensboro and Winston-Salem Cool Cities among other places. But there is no place too large or too small. If you want your community to become a Cool City, please contact me at tom.jensen 'at' sierraclub-nc.org so we can work together for a better future.

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