What is this alliance and what is their mission? The County Climate Coalition is an alliance that helps reduce greenhouse-gas emissions on a smaller, more local scale. This group of counties around the United States wants to help fight climate change by changing the way their own communities consume. After the Trump Administration made news about the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, people and organizations were upset. We, as a country, were not going to be taking a more active and regulated approach to solving the abundant amount of greenhouse-gases that are in our atmosphere. The same greenhouse-gases that have caused terrible natural disasters in communities around the world, droughts in unexpected places, and extreme wildfires in regions around the United States.
What is the history of the movement? Santa Clara was one of the first to step up as a county and take action. They continued using the paris agreement as the regulations for reducing their own emissions and found that getting other countries involved was the way to make small changes, which would in turn lead to the biggest impact. If we weren't going to recognize and work towards less emissions on the federal level, might as well try to do this locally? Santa Clara was the originator of this movement and made the goal of not only making their region carbon neutral by 2045, but be a leader in the localized movement of reducing emissions. Other countries began to follow, including Los Angeles county (the largest in the United States) who is planning through their new sustainability plan, OurCounty, to be carbon neutral by 2050 and Washtenaw County as well. Through the progression of this coalition many more countries have become involved in using local politics while looking at the bigger picture of fighting the global climate change crisis.
What are the strengths and limitations of this particular approach?
Strength: I think one of the largest strengths with this approach is that it really gives the power back to communities. I do agree with the statement that they make, Think Global, Start Local, and really do believe that making small changes within our communities will lead to something much bigger.
Strength: Since this is just a group of local governments doing something good in order to help the world’s climate crisis, I really like how there is a support system within this group (In terms of there being counties working alike) but I also like that there are not set and stone ways that communities need to do this. The commitment while being in the coalition is just to help reduce the waste your community generates and be a part of the solution!
Limitations: On limitation that I see with this approach is getting more counties involved! I think that this could be solved by just marketing this more and getting this organization out there! If we are going to see a huge change in the emissions we emit now, we are going to need all hands on deck.
Limitations: Yes, having local spending towards big companies will reduce the demand for nonrenewable resources, but I think that the federal government needs to be involved in some way. There are large scale things that needs to be regulated as well to reduce a huge amount of emissions.
How might you apply aspects of this approach for your proposed solution?
I really like the idea of having a local movement towards reducing carbon instead of just going straight to federal/national government! Maybe I could include this in creating a more localized approach to solving this issue.
I would like to include the education piece within this proposal. I think having the local movement is also a good idea because it empowers all individuals and makes people feel like they have a voice in the matter.