Electric vehicle charging.
Electric vehicle charging.

Get Involved

Model Ordinance Toolkit

Change begins with you! Changes at the local level can add up to big savings—in greenhouse gas emissions and taxpayer dollars. Improving the energy efficiency and clean energy mix of your city or county and keeping your waterways free of polluting nutrients can fight climate change and harmful algal blooms. To learn more and be connected with others interested in this work, email flconservation@audubon.org and sign up to receive our electronic newsletter for opportunities to lend your voice to Florida and its climate.

Curious about what your city or county could do? Here are some of the common ways small communities can make a huge difference. To make it even easier, we’ve included examples—model ordinances—that your city or county staff can consider as a starting point for crafting the solutions that work best in your community.

There’s no time to waste. Let’s get started today!

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is a significant cost investment. Municipalities and developers may not install charging stations if there are no EV drivers currently using the property or demanding public access to charging stations.

Find solutions and sample model ordinances here.

Cool/Green Roofing Standards

As urban centers expand to accommodate Florida’s increasing population, the impacts associated with the heat island effect are growing. Impaired water quality; incidents of heat-related mortality; increased energy consumption; and elevated emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases are a few examples of heat island dangers. These impacts place a significant strain on public safety services and considerably increase energy costs for local government operations.

Find solutions and sample model ordinances here.

Stormwater Runoff

Uncontrolled stormwater runoff from land development, commercial and residential rooftops, parking lots, and dense urban development can have significant negative effects upon local and regional water resources. Pollutants, fertilizers, trace metals, debris, and toxins are picked up by the runoff and introduced into the nearest water body. Negative impacts include risks to public health, a decrease in water quality, and an increase in the frequency and duration of harmful algal bloom occurrences.

Find solutions and sample model ordinances here.

Tree Canopy

Florida’s population growth has led to a rise in planned communities and commercial development. Both residential and commercial planning rarely take into account the heat island effect, which is exacerbated by the loss of natural green spaces. Trees are removed and open grass-covered areas are replaced with inefficient, impermeable building materials such as concrete. Urban centers can measure up to a double-digit increase in temperature when compared to nearby rural areas on the same day. Significant warming of Florida’s communities can lead to increased operating costs for local government and increased living costs for residents.

Find solutions and sample model ordinances here.
 

Green Building Program

Ongoing research continues to show that adopting green building construction and renovation standards can have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of a municipality. Outdated and inefficient green building standards increase local government operating costs, higher consumer energy costs, a significant increase in energy consumption, costly building maintenance and contribution to the heat island effect, and sea-level rise.
 
Find solutions and sample model ordinances here.

Fleet Conversion and Greenhouse Gas Emission Data

Municipal leaders can’t make decisions on fleet conversion without accurate data on current fleet greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Greenhouse gas emission data is a critical step in establishing a rationale and system for transitioning the fleet.

Find solutions and sample model ordinances here.

Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

Cities, counties, and universities all generate carbon emissions in the course of their operations, from the conventionally generated electricity they use to the fossil-fueled vehicles they employ. Reducing these emissions by improving energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy sources is essential, but you can’t gauge progress without first knowing where you’re starting from. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) inventories establish a baseline for the size of an entity’s carbon footprint, against which the success of a reduction action plan may be measured. Inventories can cost from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, though. Read on for strategies to help lower the cost of inventories, and shepherd your city, county or university through this important process.  

Solutions

Collaborate with other member municipalities to establish a cost-sharing agreement, reducing overall costs associated with establishing a GHG inventory.

Partner with local universities and utilities to establish a data-sharing program agreement to offset GHG inventory costs.

For more information, click here.

Organizations and Networks for Local Governments 

Join the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Collaborative

The Collaborative works to leverage the buying power of Climate Mayors cities to reduce the costs of EVs and charging infrastructure for all U.S. cities, counties, state governments, and public universities, thereby accelerating fleet transitions. The Collaborative also provides training, best practices, educational resources, and analysis support, creating a one-stop shop to support EV transitions for public fleets.

Join the Urban Sustainability Director’s Network

The USDN network connects local government practitioners to accelerate urban sustainability in U.S. and Canadian communities…The network creates change in the world by connecting members to share and learn from each other, incentivizing collaboration, and collectively leveraging resources.

Join the Southeast Sustainability Director’s Network

The Southeastern U.S. is no different than the rest of the world when it comes to dealing with the problems associated with climate change. Extreme heat, rising seas, strengthening storms, flooding, drought, and crop loss are just some of the challenges we face. The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network (SSDN) addresses these problems through sustainability efforts — work that creates a healthy, clean, and more stable environment for current and future generations. We connect local government sustainability professionals throughout the region to accelerate, scale, and implement sustainable best practices so that communities are equipped to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
 

Become an ICLEI member

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development. Active in 100+ countries, we influence sustainability policy and drive local action for low emission, nature-based, equitable, resilient, and circular development. Our Members and team of experts work together through peer exchange, partnerships, and capacity building to create systemic change for urban sustainability.

How you can help, right now