Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
CNT Climate Change Program Director, Jen McGraw, spent three days last week looking at the human dimensions of resilient and sustainable cities at the Garrison Institute’s Climate, Cities and Behavior Symposium.
The invite-only conference, held at a former monastery on the Hudson River in New York, dug into the concept of resilience as it relates to cities in an era of changing climate and superstorms. Through panels, case studies, and workshops, the group looked at ways that local governments and civic organizations can strengthen neighborhood assets and connectivity.
Eric Klinenberg described how during both the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995 and Hurricane Sandy, neighborhood institutions, even informal ones, were a critical factor in the varying responses neighborhood-to-neighborhood.
Mindy Fullilove and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance’s Eddie Bautista discussed the importance of considering the full historical context in neighborhoods of inequality, poverty, and the legacy of urban redevelopment when partnering to address climate change. Read more »
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
At CNT, we advocate for transit because it is an important strategy for reducing carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet today, so it was good to hear President Obama reaffirm his commitment to take action on the issue in his recent inaugural address. The Presidential Climate Action Project, which CNT participated in creating, sets out specific, practical steps that the President and Congress can take to reduce America’s carbon emissions and set the country on the path towards a renewable energy future. The President is certainly familiar with the report (I personally put a copy of the freshly printed 2008 version of it in then candidate Obama’s hand) and has indicated his support in the past for many of the steps that it outlines.
Although climate change has become a sensitive issue politically, there are important steps that the President can take to advance the agenda without legislation. CNT encourages him to follow the recommendations contained in the PCAP and communicate directly with the American people about the importance of taking action on climate change and of the economic opportunities presented by making the transition towards a green, advanced energy economy.
The President should also engage with Congress to push for the passing of legislation capping carbon emissions or pricing carbon. These market based mechanisms, by promoting efficiency and encouraging the private sector to invest and innovate in new, green sources of energy, must be part of any comprehensive solution to the problem.
The decision surrounding the construction of the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline presents the President with an opportunity to demonstrate his commitment to tackling climate change. CNT urges him to kill the pipeline which does nothing but increase America’s dependency on polluting fossil fuels. Recent severe droughts and extreme weather conditions has reminded everyone of the urgency of the threat that we face. CNT encourages the President to follow through on the promises he has made as soon as possible.
Read the 2012 PCAP Action Plan here>>
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Hurricane Sandy’s massive impact on the east coast is a reminder that global warming is a defining issue of our generation and we need effective action. Addressing climate change and creating sustainable energy security are the biggest opportunities for new jobs and industries, a dynamic economy, lasting peace and a better quality of life for our children. Yet, the 2012 Presidential campaign has largely ignored these pressing issues. The 2012 Presidential Climate Action Plan lays out a set of strategies for the next president to use executive authority to help the country address global climate change even in the face of legislative inaction. Read more »
Thursday, April 5th, 2012
CNT invites you to attend the Equity Express Green Financial Education Train-the-Trainer Workshop May 3 & 4, sponsored by PNC Bank.
Equity Express is an innovative workshop curriculum that helps participants achieve goals by lowering expenses, living healthy, and helping the environment. Participants share strategies to reduce expenses on energy, transportation, communication and food, and discover how their choices affect their health and the environment. Households have seen savings up to $200 a month.
Organizations have used the curriculum to put on their own Equity Express Workshops, or integrated the materials in to their existing programs. Organizations using Equity Express include:
- Centers for New Horizons
- Aunt Martha’s
- Trinity United Church of Christ
- North Side Community Federal Credit Union
The free Train-the-Trainer workshop is a 2-day session that brings in staff from a variety of organizations for interaction and discussion. We invite up to two trainers from each organization. Breakfast and lunch are provided. The workshop will be held at CNT’s offices, 2125 W. North Ave. Chicago, IL.
Space is limited, so please contact Adam Mays (firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-815-5985) if you are interested in attending, or would like more information.
Download a fact sheet »
Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
The Fisk Generating Station in Pilsen is the second biggest greenhouse gas emitter in Chicago, after the Crawford power plant. Photo credit: Flickr User- swanksalot.
Communities in the United States have a useful new data resource to help them with climate and sustainability planning. The U.S. EPA requires facilities emitting over 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually to report emissions, and it has just released 2010 reported data to the public.
The maps and charts at http://epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgdata/index.html can help a community identify large sources of emissions in their area. This is especially important in small communities, where a large emitter, such as a power plant or landfill that supplies the region, might make up the majority of the community’s greenhouse gas footprint.
Read more »
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Workshop participants discuss how families can save money by reducing their carbon footprint.
Last week, 11 community leaders who provide financial education and homeowner counseling spent two days in a “train-the-trainer” workshop learning how to incorporate CNT’s Equity Express Green Financial Education into their programs.
Once clients have defined their financial goals and begun to keep track of their expenses, the next step is to determine how they can save money on their limited income. One option is to make smarter consumer choices.
Equity Express is a six-session curriculum that focuses on ways people can save money in the areas of energy, transportation, telecom, and food, which together represent 40 percent of a typical family budget. By making smarter consumer choices, former Equity Express workshop participants have decreased monthly expenses from $20 to $200 per month.
Read more »
Friday, November 4th, 2011
Livability Solutions is now accepting applications for free technical assistance.
Applications are now being accepted from local, regional, state, and tribal governments and community-based organizations for free technical assistance in implementing smart growth initiatives. Up to 12 recipients will receive a two-day workshop with members of Livability Solutions, a partnership among CNT and 10 other organizations, who have expertise in planning projects that protect the environment, improve public health, facilitate job creation and economic opportunity, and improve overall quality of life. The application deadline is November 22, 2011, and grantees will be announced on December 22, 2011.
Please visit Livability Solutions for the complete details.
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has awarded a grant to CNT and 10 other partners to provide technical assistance to communities that are planning and implementing smart growth initiatives. The technical assistance grant is aimed at helping communities overcome barriers, “such as outdated zoning codes and other local regulations, lack of consensus around where and how to grow, and misconceptions about sustainable communities development approaches,” according to the US EPA website. The technical assistance provided by the group will take the form of one- and two-day workshops with public officials and engaged residents to address these common challenges. All communities that have received Sustainable Communities grants are eligible for this technical assistance. Read more »
Friday, September 16th, 2011
Oberlin's enthusiasm for alternative transportation and environmental stewardship have made it a laboratory for big ideas throughout its history. Photo courtesy of Oberlin College Archives
Can a town completely eliminate its greenhouse gases produced by transportation by 2050? It’s a bold goal and one that CNT is presenting a roadmap for today at the “Northern Ohio’s Clean Energy Future” conference in Oberlin, Ohio. As part of a three person panel on “Community Wide Energy Transformation,” we will recommend actions big and small to bring the town of Oberlin to that zero carbon goal—from a new bike lane to the grocery store to a regional transit system that makes it possible to live in Oberlin without a car. Hosted at Oberlin College, the event will be attended by US Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Oberlin Distinguished Professor David Orr, and other political and policy leaders across Ohio and the nation. Read more »
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
Maybe you’ve heard of I-GO Car Sharing. Did you know I-GO® is an affiliate of CNT? Read all about Chicago’s non-profit car-sharing organization in this profile of I-GO CEO Sharon Feigon in today’s Chicago Tribune. I-GO is a perfect example of what CNT is all about: identifying ideas that can cut costs and environmental impact, testing those ideas in the real world, and bringing them to scale. Read more »