White House names 16 communities as climate ‘champions’

The White House has designated 16 local and tribal governments as “climate action champions” for the work they have done to fight climate change and mitigate its effects.

The program, announced in October, seeks to single out communities that care about climate change and give them more help from federal agencies and other cities and towns to take more action.

As the inaugural class of “climate action champions,” the 16 towns, cities, counties, tribes and other local government entities will be the first test of the White House’s attempt to encourage local climate change policies through mentorship by federal officials.

“From creating climate-smart building codes to installing green infrastructure to setting targets for reducing energy consumption, the 16 local and tribal communities selected as Climate Action Champions have considered their climate vulnerabilities and taken decisive action to cut carbon pollution and build resilience,” the White House said in a fact sheet released Wednesday.

Each local entity will be assigned a federal coordinator for the program, who will help facilitate peer-to-peer and federal agency communication to help with climate change goals, the White House said.

The winners will also have access to federal climate change data, pilot projects on climate change preparedness and experts on renewable energy, among other benefits.

The “champions” include major cities like Boston and San Francisco, smaller municipalities like Oberlin, Ohio, and Montpelier, Vt., and American Indian tribes like California’s Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe.