Local Climate Leaders Circle

Local Climate Leaders Circle

Empowering mayors and local officials to serve as climate ambassadors
in local, state, national, and international policy dialogues


About the Local Climate Leaders Circle

The Local Climate Leaders Circle is an initiative to support a group of 12 mayors and local officials in speaking out as champions for climate action in national and international policy forums. The group will form a delegation to the UN Conference of Parties in Paris in December 2015.
Leaders Circle participants are provided with technical assistance, communications tools, advocacy assistance, and financial & logistical support. The Leaders Circle is committing to the Compact of Mayors and is receiving support in reporting climate information into the carbonn Climate Registry to comply with the Compact, so that they can not only establish climate goals for their community, but also learn the most effective approach to these actions and share their learnings with communities worldwide.

This coalition of US mayors and city officials will join the UN Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Paris in December 2015 to showcase their cities’ climate leadership and call for an ambitious international agreement that addresses our climate crisis and supports further action at the local level. The Leaders Circle will convene at COP21’s Transformative Action Pavilion, a space where the leaders will share information about planned climate projects with potential investors and access other resources for removing barriers to implementation. Post COP21, the Leaders Circle partners will provide communications assistance to local climate leaders to amplify support for the international agreement and EPA Clean Power Plans. The program will also lay the groundwork for sustained climate action at metro regional and state levels.
The Local Climate Leaders Circle includes:

Atlanta, GA: Mayor Kasim Reed
Boulder, CO: Mayor Matt Appelbaum
Chula Vista, CA: Mayor Mary Casillas Salas
Columbus, OH: Mayor Michael Coleman
Des Moines, IA: Mayor Frank Cownie
Grand Rapids, MI: Mayor George Heartwell
King County, WA: Council Chair Larry Phillips
Oakland, CA: Mayor Libby Schaaf
Pittsburgh, PA: Mayor Bill Peduto
Salt Lake City, UT: Mayor Ralph Becker
Santa Monica, CA: Council Member Pam O’Connor
West Palm Beach, FL: Mayor Jeri Muoio

“Salt Lake City has succeeded in implementing climate smart policies that are really making a difference, and we’re ready to show the rest of
the world how it’s done. But as a city we can only do so much. We need stronger national and international climate policy.”
– Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City

Why the Local Climate Leaders Circle Is Acting Now

The year 2015 will be pivotal for addressing climate change. The UN Conference of Parties (COP) meeting in Paris in December 2015 and the EPA Clean Power Plan for reducing power plant emissions released in August 2015 will lay the groundwork for climate mitigation for years to come, and it is critical that they reflect an ambitious, substantive approach embraced by the policymakers and public who control their fate. Mayors and local officials have a crucial role to play in demonstrating leadership and advocating for strong action at the national and international levels. They can be equipped to do so with tools, training, and events around climate policy and communications, undergirded with formalized climate commitments and current analysis of their local emissions consistent with international standards.

In November 2015, Leaders Circle officials delivered a joint letter to the DC Circuit Court, opposing a legal effort to delay implementation of the Clean Power Plan that would weaken the prospects for an international agreement at COP21. 

Local Climate Leaders Circle Objectives

Policy Impact:
Significant influence on COP21 outcomes with acknowledgement of the power cities hold to positively change global policy outcomes

Public Engagement:
Increase in American public support for federal regulations through flexible state-level action

Better Measurement:
More local communities with GHG inventory, monitoring, and ongoing management skills

Professional Development:
Emerging climate professionals trained and equipped to apply their skills to the job market

Progressive Leadership:
A new generation of elected champions who will continue to lead in their cities, states, and federal government

Engage with the Local Climate Leaders Circle

If you are a Mayor, city council member, or county official, improve your community,
connect with and be recognized for your leadership today by following the model of those within the Leaders Circle:

Join the Compact of Mayors
the world’s largest coalition of local leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse
gas emissions, track their progress, and prepare for climate impacts

Sign the Resilient Communities for America Agreement
the national campaign for local elected officials who commit to taking action on resilience

Apply for the Transformative Actions Program (TAP)
to connect to financial support on your climate initiatives

Register for ClearPath
the leading online software platform for completing greenhouse gas inventories, forecasts,
climate action plans, and monitoring

Download the Measuring Up 2015 report
to learn how fellow resiliency leaders are taking innovative and community-building action in their cities

We will share new trainings and communication tools as they are developed within the Leaders Circle. Stay updated on progress and action of the Local Climate Leaders Circle and the other climate resiliency initiatives by signing up for RC4A news and following CityTalk USA. Join in the conversation through #LeadersCircle on Twitter.

Local Climate Leaders Circle Partners

The Local Climate Leaders Circle an initiative of Resilient Communities for America and is a partnership between ICLEI, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Green Business Council (USGBC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in association with C40 and Bloomberg Philanthropies, along with a host of other respected organizations that leverage the campaign to reach local governments with valuable resources.