Many governors, mayors, and town boards are pledging to move their communities to 100% renewable and searching for wind, solar and hydropower opportunities to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. East Hampton, in New York State, is moving towards bringing wind turbines 30 miles off-shore whereas Palm Springs has already entirely electrified its entire community through an immense wind farm. Many communities are recognizing that their communities are going to have to make changes in order to mitigate their particular climate impact and adapt to the climate change consequences coming their way. This is called resilience. They are mitigating and adapting through green architecture, electric transportation and charging stations; battery storage, creating Community Choice Aggregation plans, rethinking ways to conserve, switching out light bulbs, altering building codes and planting trees. This includes planning public spaces to withstand sea level rise and rethinking their waste disposal and recycling.

This section takes a look at what individual towns, cities and states are doing as they prepare for climate change consequences. A number of states have passed significant energy legislation with 100% energy goals and others are moving in that direction.

US cities, towns and municipalities are equally motivated: over 139 cities, and twelve counties have already adopted ambitious 100% clean energy goals but few have achieved it. Six additional cities — Aspen CO, Burlington, Georgetown, Greensburg KS, Rock Port MO, and Kodiak Island — have already hit their targets, generating 100% of their energy from clean, non-polluting and renewable sources…In 2008, Rock Port, MO became the first city that could claim to get all its power from wind. 

In partnership with the global covenant of mayors, Google has begun estimating carbon pollution from cities around the world, as a way for leaders to focus and improve local climate programs.  Two of the cities, including Pittsburgh, Pa. and Mountain View, California, are in the US so far.


Strengthening a Minnesota Community with Solar and Resilience

By Gabe Epstein 07/06/23
Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is a community of approximately 6,000 residents, most of whom have a household income of less than $35,000 annually. To support economic stability and energy resilience in this neighborhood, Duluth-based nonprofit…
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Cities Must Be Redesigned for a Future of Extreme Heat

By Akshat Rathi and Oscar Boyd 05/18/23
On this week’s Zero, Akshat Rathi talks to Eleni Myrivili, global chief heat officer for UN Habitat, about how cities can better cope with heat waves. By 2050, almost 70% of the world’s population will…
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Two weeks until California slashes rooftop solar incentives

By Sammy Roth 03/30/23
It’s been nearly a decade since California lawmakers ordered the state’s Public Utilities Commission to revamp a rooftop solar incentive program called net metering. In two weeks, we’ll finally begin to see the consequences of…
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He Wanted to Unclog Cities. Now He’s ‘Public Enemy No. 1.’

By Tiffany Hsu 03/28/23
For most of his 40-year career, Carlos Moreno, a scientist and business professor in Paris, worked in relative peace.
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‘They’re not ready’: Cities scramble to implement climate law

By Timothy Cama 02/09/23
The landmark climate change law passed last year relies heavily on cities and towns to implement some key provisions, but some aren’t yet ready to take on the challenge. City governments, still battered by the…
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Can cities eliminate heat-related deaths in a warming world? Phoenix is trying

By Emma Loewe 01/24/23
Regional Carrillo could walk to his last job in five minutes. In most places, it would be a pleasant commute. But in Phoenix, where summer days routinely top 110 degrees Fahrenheit (and can feel like…
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Why Not Cover Ugly Parking Lots With Solar Panels?

By William Ralston 01/23/23
A BACKLASH AGAINST industrial-size solar farms is brewing. At least 75 big solar projects were vetoed across the United States last year, compared to 19 in 2021. And between January 2021 and July 2022, planning…
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A California town’s wastewater is helping it battle drought

By Naoki Nitta 01/23/23
Standing under a shady tree drooping with pomegranates late last year, Brad Simmons, a retired metal fabricator who has lived in Healdsburg, California, for 57 years, showed off his backyard orchard. Along with the apple,…
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How to build a better bike-share program

By Gabriela Aoun Angueira 01/20/23
Geoff Coats still remembers how he felt when, in May 2020, all 1,350 bicycles in New Orleans’s popular bike-share program vanished.
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NEW REPORT: U.S. Conference of Mayors in Partnership with Wells Fargo Release Report on Effective Solutions for Climate Resilience

By Sara Durr 01/19/23
Today, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) along with the Wells Fargo Institute for Sustainable Finance released a new report “Investing in Resilient and Equitable Neighborhoods,” which highlights focus areas, best practices and strategies…
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DOE Launches $10 Million Prize to Accelerate Community Solar in Underrepresented Communities

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) today launched a slate of initiatives to support the deployment of equitable community solar projects and recognized projects exemplifying best practices in community solar.…
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The best and worst US states for climate change

By Inaara Thawer 12/27/22
A recent study by Wise Voter set out to compare how each U.S. state is coping with the growing climate crisis. Each state was ranked based on five environmental factors. These were Carbon Emissions, the…
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Community Disaster Resilience Zones

Community Disaster Resilience Zones will build disaster resilience across the nation by driving federal, public and private resources to the most at-risk and in-need jurisdictions.

FEMA gives special status to 500 climate-vulnerable neighborhoods

Nearly 500 U.S. neighborhoods vulnerable to climate change have been selected to receive special help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and potentially other federal agencies, FEMA said Wednesday.

North American City Sustainability Study 2023

The impact of climate change is top of mind for real estate investors and occupiers. Nearly 70% of the more than 500 commercial real estate professionals participating in a recent CBRE global survey cited reducing…

5 Ways Community Solar Empowers Solar for All

Solar power is a long-lasting and cost-cutting renewable energy solution, but installing a home solar panel system isn’t feasible for everyone. Luckily, the benefits of solar aren’t limited to those who have panels on their…

FACT SHEET: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Releases New Resources to Advance Climate Science and Support Decision Making

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is releasing new resources to advance climate science and knowledge, and to support leaders at every level of government in managing the impacts of climate…

The Solutions Project

The Solutions Project is an organization first conceived in 2011 by prominent figures in science, business and the entertainment media with the goal of utilizing the combined efforts of individuals in the fields of science,…

Implementing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act: A Virtual Roundtable Series

States and municipalities are learning from each other in a series of stunning webinars focusing on specific solutions. Although designed to illuminate New York’s 2019 landmark climate law, they are fascinating for everyone, experts and…

Community Resilience Indicator Analysis

County-Level Analysis of Commonly Used Indicators from Peer-Reviewed Research, 2019 update

Climate Emergency, Urban Opportunity

A new report from the Coalition for Urban Transitions finds that leadership from national governments is essential for achieving equitable and sustainable economic development in cities.

Cooling Emissions and Policy Synthesis Report

Action under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Destroy the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) will phase-down the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and could avoid up to 0.4°C of global…

Earth Overshoot Day – Cities

The global campaign for sustainability will be won, or lost, in cities. Between 70% and 80% of all people are expected to live in urban areas by 2050. Consequently, smart city planning and urban development…

About the Climate Resilience Toolkit

The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit provides scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events. The site is designed to serve interested citizens,…

2018 Case Study Report

Cities are ready for 100% clean energy.

Moving Towards 100% Renewable Energy: Drivers Behind City Policies and Pledges

As the United States federal government retreats from energy and environmental regulation, local and regional efforts across the U.S. are scaling up. Cities, in particular, are intensifying their commitments to fight climate change and are…


To partner with indigenous and traditional communities to build a more sustainable, empowered, and just future through community-based projects, outreach, and technical assistance.

C40 Cities

Cities are where the future happens first. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing over 650 million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created…

US Climate Alliance

In response to the U.S. federal government’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, Governors Andrew Cuomo, Jay Inslee, and Jerry Brown launched the United States Climate Alliance – a bipartisan coalition…

Resilient Communities For America

Resilient Communities for America (RC4A) champions the leadership of hundreds of local elected officials who are committed to creating more prepared communities that can bounce back from extreme weather, energy, and economic challenges. A strong…

How Cities Can Improve Homes

While reducing energy use in residential buildings plays a key role in meeting these goals, historically, this has been a hard sector to tackle. Residential buildings are decentralized, which makes it difficult to implement programs…

Zero Net Energy Buildings with Zero Net Added Cost

Would you consider making your next home or building project a zero energy project? If the net added cost to you was also zero, would you be more interested? Most people would. It’s possible to…

American Cities Climate Challenge

The American Cities Climate Challenge is an unprecedented opportunity for 25 ambitious cities to significantly deepen and accelerate their efforts to tackle climate change and promote a sustainable future for their residents. As Climate Challenge winners,…

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change

Co-chaired by Maros Sefcovic and Michael Bloomberg, The Global Covenant of Mayors serves cities and local governments by mobilizing and supporting ambitious, measurable, planned climate and energy action in their communities by working with city/regional…

100% Commitments in Cities, Counties, & States

Across the U.S. over 90 cities, more than ten counties and two states, have already adopted ambitious 100% clean energy goals. Six cities in the U.S.--Aspen, Burlington, Georgetown, Greensburg, Rock port, and Kodiak Island--have already…


The Fight For Environmental Justice In America’s Segregated Cities

By Peter Dykstra   09/07/19  
Abolitionist climate justice is an evolving movement that aims to tackle the disparate effects of climate change across race and class...
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I helped expose the lead crisis in Flint. Here’s what other cities should do.

By Mona Hanna-Attisha   08/28/19  
The fight against lead in water is a fight for our kids....
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Major U.S. cities are leaking methane at twice the rate previously believed

By Sid Perkins   07/19/19  
Natural gas, long touted as a cleaner burning alternative to coal, has a leakage problem. A new study has found that leaks of methane, the main ingredient in natural gas and itself a potent greenhouse…
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These Are the Cities Doing the Most to Combat Global Warming

By Jeremy Hodges and Demetrios Pogkas   05/15/19  
Cities, which are home to more than half the world’s population, are stepping up efforts to slash pollution, often wresting the fight against climate change away from national governments.
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The Fight to Tame a Swelling River With Dams That May Be Outmatched by Climate Change

By Tyler J. Kelley   03/21/19  
There were no good choices for John Remus, yet he had to choose. Should he try to hold back the surging Missouri River but risk destroying a major dam, potentially releasing a 45-foot wall of…
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Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and DC join Bloomberg climate challenge winners

By Chris Teale   10/22/18  
Four more cities have been honored as winners of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge: Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, DC.
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Mike Bloomberg Names Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, DC as Winners in Bloomberg American Cities Climate ChallengeIssue is resolved.

By Bloomberg Philanthropies   10/21/18  
Today, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action and former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto in West End Overlook Park to announce Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington D.C. as the next round…
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Climate gentrification: the rich can afford to move – what about the poor?

By Oliver Milman   09/25/18  
As people flee intense heat in Arizona for gentler climes, rental and property values soar. But what about those left behind?
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Where should you move to save yourself from climate change?

By Oliver Milman   09/24/18  
Climate change is fueling heatwaves, hurricanes and floods, gradually making certain places in the US challenging, if not outright miserable, to live in. Scientists, and some members of the public, are starting to question where…
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How This Community Fought for $70 Million in Cleanup Funds — and Won

By Johnny Magdaleno   08/13/18  
Southwest Fresno has California’s worst air quality and greatest concentration of disadvantaged neighborhoods. The inspiring story of residents who mobilized to claim the state funds to redress these ills.
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At the Edge of the World, Facing the End of the World

By Matt Simon   09/17/18  
Want to feel better about climate change? Last week’s climate summit showed that the most ambitious action isn’t happening on the national scale—it’s cities and states that are leading the way...
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To Counteract Trump on Climate, States Set Clean Energy Targets

Democratic state lawmakers passed a wave of bills this year they hope will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, even as the Trump administration moves in the opposite direction.
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