Our communities are wellsprings of pride, security, and vitality. We’ve built them to be strong, prosperous, and livable so we can live our best lives. Climate change is challenging our essential built, social, and natural systems, and impacts are visible from our kitchen windows. Communities are promising places for progress on climate solutions, however, because the greatest potential for leadership and innovation is at the local level.
If we can inspire and empower local leadership on climate, we can reach every city and county in the nation with a new climate message, and new reasons to support solutions. If local leaders are talking about and leading on climate change, then Americans will see this as a normal and expected part of everyday life.
It isn’t very motivating to speak about climate change using environmental jargon, and too abstract for community leaders to talk about melting ice caps or international climate agreements. But they CAN talk passionately about creating good clean energy right here in our town, and making our community the best place to raise our children and families.
You can make a difference in your city or town, and ensure residents and future generations inherit a community where they can live their best lives.
The following talking points provide a starting point. Tailor and use them in your conversations, speeches, and writing to build support for climate solutions.
1. I care about climate change because I care about our community and everyone
in it. I do my part to make our community a better place to live.
2. Climate change is already affecting our community. Severe weather events,
droughts, health impacts, and increased energy bills threaten our community. (This
statement can be specifically tailored to climate impacts seen locally.)
3. Some groups in our city are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,
including children, the elderly, the sick and poor, and disadvantaged
communities. Our efforts to stop climate-related pollution help all of these groups –
and all of us – live better, healthier lives, now and for years to come.
4. We can ensure our families and future generations live in a thriving, healthy
community where the air is clean and the water is safe. If we act now, we can
provide them with the opportunity to live their best lives and prosper.
5. Investing in climate solutions means investing in our community. We can prepare
for climate impacts, enhance our community, create good local jobs, and make our
neighborhoods more attractive places to live in for generations to come. By cutting
energy costs we can recycle the savings into our communities.
6. The greatest action on climate begins with us. We have the power to strengthen
our environment, health, economy, and community at the same time.
7. Of all the things we’d love to leave our children and future generations, a
healthy place for them to raise children of their own may be the most important.
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