Greenville, South Carolina is a member of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), an international organization dedicated to spreading climate awareness and supporting local governments committed to sustainability.
Greenville expects to get these benefits from its membership:
- save taxpayer dollars and kilowatt hours for its businesses
- offset budget cuts through energy efficiency and transportation initiatives
- reduce energy use and waste
- cut greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change
- prepare Greenville for unavoidable climate change impacts
- improve air quality and public health
- measure energy use, emissions, climate resiliency and sustainability performance
- set achievable goals and develop sustainability, energy and climate action plans
- strengthen Greenville's economy and create more jobs
- help the U.S. get energy independence from foreign energy sources, protecting Greenville from rising energy costs
- get local businesses and residents on board to save money and conserve resources
- get recognition for Greenville leadership on climate and energy.
Greenville government is responsible for and has the power to address challenges to make Greenville better. It governs resources like energy, water and others used by residents for their life quality, and the waste they generate. It creates Greenville's long-term plans for land use, zoning, building codes and licenses, recycling, money spent on roads and other infrastructure, public transportation, schools, parks and recreation areas in addition to municipal services.
ICLEI announced in 2014 the Green Business Challenge (GBC) where communities can get $20,000 to start a GBC, a cost-effective program to help meet climate and energy goals. The website offers step by step instructions on how to customize and implement a GBC program with ICLEI's tools & resources and cites Houston as one of their success stories.
ICLEI was founded in 1990 at the United Nations in New York City during the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future. For almost 25 years the group has been trying to activate worldwide governments at city and country levels to make changes for clean energy, sustainability and climate-change actions. ICLEI USA has helped establish national standards and created cutting-edge tools.
Craig Brown, Founder and Director of Common Dreams, said, "As long as meaningful action on climate change will hurt the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industries, the media conglomerates and Wall Street, we can't expect the media blackout to end..."
Read the book Reimagining Greenville: Building the Best Downtown in America by John Boyanoski and Mayor Knox White. Contact Knox White firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on Greenville's part as an ICLEI member.