The Chicago Climate Action Plan, launched in 2008, has bold goals: reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below by 2050. To get there, the City’s Department of Environment (DOE) invited ECCo to co-lead efforts that engage diverse communities in the plan’s implementation. In the seven studies we have conducted, we have looked for what communities are already doing that could be linked with the climate action effort. We have found a growing number of school-based and after-school environmental programs for youth, traditions of backyard gardening, and community efforts to encourage entrepreneurialism, among other practices. Download reports
With the DOE and its partners we are now developing programs that build on these eco-friendly practices and values. Our efforts resulted in the Energy Action Network-Chicago (EAN). EAN engages 21 community organizations to scale up efforts that raise energy efficiency in homes, increase awareness of climate change, and integrate environmental sustainability in programs to improve quality of life.