Four US governments win EPA Climate Leadership Awards

4 March 2013

NEW YORK: Twenty-three local governments, lead by the City of Austin, Texas, Boulder County, the Port of San Diego, California and the Sonoma County Water Agency, California, have received EPA’s 2013 Climate Leadership Awards.

The EPA Awards identify and reward corporates, governments and individual leadership on climate change action.

The list of winners and what they did to impress the EPA judges are:

City of Austin, Texas

In 2012, Austin hit its target of powering city-owned facilities with 100% renewable energy. The city is also working towards a five-point plan to make all of Austin’s operations carbon neutral by 2020; to reduce total energy use to 800 megawatts while increasing clean energy portfolio to 35%; energy efficiency measures for buildings and construction; and collaboration and tools for residents such as emission offsets.

Boulder County

The government is aiming to meet its goal to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 92% from 2005 to 2020 by installing more than 900 kilowatts of solar capacity on county buildings, establishing energy efficiency measures and encouraging transport sharing.

Port of San Diego, California

After establishing its sustainability and Green Port Program policies in 2008, by 2011 San Diego achieved a 15% drop in emissions through actions such as increasing energy efficiency in facilities, installing 170 kilowatts of solar panel and adopting hybrid and electric vehicles. The projects lead to more than US$176,000 in utility cost savings.

Sonoma County Water Agency, California

Well on its way towards achieving a carbon-free water system by 2015 through electric vehicles, clean energy project financing, and developing a Community Choice Aggregation program financing for clean energy, the water agency also heads up a program to fund energy and efficiency at schools and a non-profit network of innovative clean energy projects.

Amy Davidsen, US Executive Director, The Climate Group, commented on the four leading governments: "There is no doubt that sub-national governments are currently leading the way in the US.  From the state-wide carbon market in California to the achievements made by this group of local governments, the progress being made at the sub-national level is truly remarkable.

"It's a testament to what is possible when elected officials are able to put some of the politics aside, and simply focus on what is best for their constituents."

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