Climate Change Action Ideas

Two examples from the summary of 100 great ideas for climate action collated and published by Apolitical. The link to the full, very large, article is at the bottom of this page. We think this is pretty inspiring, especially as we face the challenges of the climate change commission report. We hope you find something of interest for your sector.

Distributed solar photovoltaics

Colorado’s community solar gardens reduced the energy bills of low-income households by up to 50% while increasing the state’s solar capacity.

Community solar gardens are exactly what they sound like — solar energy installations that are co-owned by a group of people. Often, they are a good alternative for those who cannot afford to install solar panels directly into their homes, and in 2015, the Colorado Energy Office partnered with GRID Alternatives to bring solar energy to low-income communities. Matched with local utilities, the initiative built eight community solar gardens at no cost to the families, who then experienced energy bill savings ranging from 15%-50%. Now, Colorado has the most community solar projects in the country, with 70 installations generating more than 50MW. The policy was the first of its kind in the US, and lessons learned from its success were instrumental in the creation of the Low Income Solar Policy Guide, a nationwide toolkit for governments.

Plant-rich diet

The Los Angeles Unified School District reduced its purchasing of industrially produced meat, reducing its carbon footprint by 22% annually.

The City of Los Angeles initially developed the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) in order to leverage the institutional purchasing power of schools, universities and other public facilities to benefit the environment. The model was developed in 2012, and had input from over 100 stakeholders. The model identifies five key priorities that must inform the procurement decision; environmental sustainability, local economies, nutritional value, animal welfare and a fair workforce. The program provides a grading tool for each spending institution to direct their considerable budgets (the second-largest school in Los Angeles spends more than $150 million a year on food) towards low-impact food producers. The GFPP also encouraged a shift towards higher proportions of plant-based meals, which led the Los Angeles school district to refrain from serving meat on Mondays. Additionally, it is estimated that changes in procurement led to saving 14 gallons of water per meal, adding up to 1 billion gallons a year. The programme is highly replicable and has now been adopted by 14 US cities and 27 public institutions. The collective food budget of those institutions is $895 million.

To read about all 100 examples click here