by Kerstan Ryan
On Tuesday, April 27, Clean Air Carolina will be recognized as one of ten finalists for the 2021 American Climate Leadership Awards. Hosted by ecoAmerica, the awards acknowledge climate leaders and organizations building political resolve for climate action at local, regional, and national levels, particularly those who center diversity, inclusion, and justice in their work. We are happy to be recognized as a model for climate advocacy for communities across the country.
In 2018, Clean Air Carolina created the Charlotte Mecklenburg Climate Leaders (CMCL), a robust community engagement model that has successfully spurred city and county government action on climate change. With membership representing a broad cross-section of organizations and sectors the Charlotte Mecklenburg Climate Leaders challenge, educate, and partner with local elected officials and sustainability staff to set and achieve robust carbon reduction goals.
Some of CMCL’s successes include:
- The Sustainable and Resilient Charlotte by 2050 Resolution and the Strategic Energy Action Plan both passed unanimously due to our organizing, advocacy, and public engagement.
- A commitment by Charlotte Area Transit to transition to electric vehicles in October 2020 resulted after CMCL met with City Council members, the City Manager, and other officials over 18 months, providing them with the latest research on electric buses and urging them not to invest in diesel and natural gas-powered vehicles.
- The NC Climate Ambassadors program was created to equip civic leaders and community advocates with the knowledge, communications skills, and resources to speak and act confidently on climate change solutions.