Addressing Climate Change

Desired Trend

Up

Current Trend

Up
Baseline (2010): 8.8%
Current (2016): 11.8%

Theme Prepared

Definition

Percent of local governments that have taken action to address climate change

Why is it Important?

The average global temperature increased by 1.4°F over the last 100 years.1 Temperatures are expected to continue increasing due to the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, causing substantial negative impacts to the environment and society. Local communities are uniquely situated to address climate change due to their ability to innovate and create incentives and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the things communities can do include: develop Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories that calculate total emissions for the area, which helps identify target areas for emission reductions; develop a climate action plan, which focuses on strategies for reducing GHGs as well as adaptation strategies that will help the community become more resilient to the impacts of climate change; join organizations that support and encourage local efforts to address climate change, such as Resilient Communities for America or the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities Campaign; and mayors of municipalities can sign on to the US Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (MCPA), showing their commitment to reduce local GHG emissions. This indicator measures the percent of local governments that have taken any of the aforementioned actions to address climate change.

How are we Doing?

The percent of local governments (cities and counties) in the St. Louis region that have taken action to address climate change increased from 8.8 percent in 2010 to 11.8 percent in 2016. A total of 24 local governments in the region have taken action to address climate change. Six additional local governments have taken action since 2010. Most of the 24 governments are designated as Cool Cities, and many have signed the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Almost half have completed greenhouse gas inventories, and a handful have developed climate action plans.

Geographic Level

St. Louis eight county bi-state region, including Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties and city of St. Louis in Missouri and Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois. View map.

Notes

1U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Climate Change: Basic Information, 18 March 2014; accessed on 2 April 2014 at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basics/

Data Sources

Sierra Club, US Conference of Mayors, Resilient Communities for America, and East-West Gateway Council of Governments