This spring the Climate Mind and Behavior (CMB) program of the Garrison Institute, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, will convene a three-day by-invitation summit of local government service providers from around the country. The meeting will address how they can be most effective at helping municipalities take action on climate change.
The CMB program focuses on the human dimensions of resilience, working through both scientific and contemplative perspectives to build more aware, adaptive and resilient people and communities. Local governments have been at the forefront of climate change action for over a decade. Many dedicated public servants in small towns and large cities seek ways to build resilience and support the conditions for sustainability in their communities. In some cases, sustainability or climate teams work with a mandate from their mayor, and have sufficient funding to mount large-scale campaigns towards such goals as boosting recycling and composting, enhancing stormwater management, or increasing the use of renewable energy. In many other cases, the task of understanding local climate impacts and designing and implementing programs to address them falls to cash and time-constrained municipal workers who have plenty of will, but little capacity. That’s where technical service providers and the resources they create can help.