When looking for climate inspiration, mayors and local leaders tend to turn to one another. However, much can be learned by looking internationally, and by identifying opportunities to implement climate solutions that have already been proven elsewhere. Bold climate leaders worldwide are experimenting with new methods to slash their carbon footprint, and in the process, empower their residents and communities. One particularly illuminating example can be found by looking to Sweden.
These are 4 key insights that Mayors in America can utilize to expand upon climate solutions:
- Make Commitments: While Sweden has made several international commitments, cities and regions should similarly make measurable pledges. Organizations like C40, the Conference of Mayors, and Path to Positive Communities offer opportunities for collaborating and the sharing of ideas—critical to keeping cities accountable and helping foster successful climate action.
- Raise Public Awareness: Mayors and local leaders must communicate the benefits and opportunities of climate action. Bringing in jobs, boosting local economies, creating healthier environments for families and children, and protecting natural habitats must be clearly communicated to residents in the community. This helps garner public support, and empowers residents with the responsibilities and opportunities resulting from climate action. Tips on climate communication can be found in ecoAmerica’s Let’s Talk Climate.
- Aim High: Mayors and local leaders should be ambitious in their approach. They should reach for bold, yet attainable climate goals that will empower their communities.
- Set a Roadmap: Mayors must work with sustainability directors and leaders in business, faith, education and health to set a clear roadmap for success. Plans should have clear benchmarks, and identifiable goals that can be acted on.
Mayors and community leaders are the key to implementing bold and effective climate action. These officials must collaborate with regional, state, federal, and even international leaders to identify the best path for pursuing action in their cities. Find out how to effectively lead in your city by joining Path to Positive Communities.
Via the Official Site of Sweden | Accessed January 5, 2016
Sweden’s reputation as an environmental pioneer began with a number of proactive moves in the 1960s and 1970s. Recognising a loss of limited natural resources, Sweden was the first country to establish an environmental protection agency, in 1967.
In 1972 Sweden hosted the first UN conference on the environment, which led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the leading global environmental authority to this day.
Sweden was also one of the first nations to sign and ratify the international climate change treaty Kyoto Protocol, in 1998 and 2002 respectively.