In Response to Rolling Back Progress
February 17, 2017
The following is an opinion piece by Urban Offsets employee – Chris Grippo
Politics can be a tricky beast. As cabinet members Rex Tillerson, Scott Pruitt and others are appointed, the sustainability road can start to look a little hazy. The Washington Post recently had some remarks on just this topic, “The Trump administration can’t entirely roll back progress on climate change.” One reason why: cities across the country understand sensible policy.
Many cities are at the forefront of climate action even without support from their state or national governments. Cities understand that having strong climate policy is not just about the climate. It’s about the health and safety benefits to their communities like smog and pollution and reducing the damage from droughts and floods.
The WP article focuses on the next logical entity within a city: companies. “Companies also lead by example on environmental policy,” states Jessica F. Green, the article’s author. While we at Urban Offsets strongly support companies and campaigns such as the RE100 and the We Mean Business coalition, we think the author missed an opportunity. Ms. Green forgot about all the colleges and universities in cities across the country that lead with those same examples.
With close to 600 colleges and universities signed onto Second Nature’s Climate, Carbon, and Resilience Commitments, schools small and large have taken unprecedented steps in becoming carbon neutral. With many of these school’s interim goal dates growing closer, we’ve seen impressive innovation from biomass facilities to a switch to 100% renewable energy. Among that innovation this past year were forward-thinking schools who began investing in cities by purchasing community-based carbon offsets from urban tree planting projects.
With cities on board and schools leading the way, one thing’s for sure, the more trees in the ground, the better. Even with a change in administration, as the article states, they “can’t entirely rollback progress on climate change.” The reason being is cities, companies, and schools keep the hope and resilience alive.
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