Today, the National League of Cities (NLC) announced a new program with ecoAmerica aimed at elevating local climate engagement activities by its members and affiliates in nearly 19,000 American cities and towns.
This post was co-authored by Cooper Martin and Daniel Barry.
In light of the need to prevent pollution while also preparing for adverse impacts we anticipate in our changing climate, NLC is partnering with ecoAmerica, a national climate communications and engagement group, to provide tools and resources to all its members.
One of the most important skills for local elected officials is the ability to lead their communities in productive and civil debate, particularly in today’s political environment. City leaders need to communicate with residents using messages that are clear, positive, inclusive and relevant to their concerns. Nowhere is this more challenging than on issues related to climate and environmental policy.
Through local climate action, cities can improve the environment and boost local economies, employment and energy independence at the same time. They can create jobs, build climate-smart transportation, and spur investments in solar and wind power that slash utility bills, give residents choices about where they get their energy, and broadly increase their communities’ livability.
However, to build support for local climate solutions, cities must more effectively engage residents and stakeholders. Local governments and the services they provide contribute only a small percentage of a community’s climate pollution. Because the majority comes from the private sector and other institutions (homes, businesses, churches, schools, hospitals, etc.), successful community climate solutions require broad community participation.
A key step is ensuring that you are well-equipped to communicate local climate solutions to leaders and residents. The guides we are releasing today on NLC’s website provide effective communication tools. They include:
- Let’s Talk Communities & Climate: Communication Guidance for City and Community Leaders
- Let’s Talk Climate: Messages to Motivate Americans
- 15 Steps to Create Effective Climate Communications
- America Climate Values: Psychographic and Demographic Insights
These guides feature research-proven practices for successful climate communication. In the months ahead, NLC and ecoAmerica will regularly release new resources, host informative webinars, and provide additional climate-related programming for NLC members.
Featured image from Getty Images.
About the authors:
Daniel Barry is the Path to Positive Communities Program Director for ecoAmerica.
Cooper Martin is the program director of the Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities.