“Leadership on the climate challenge must now come from cities, states, the business community and organizations like ISC. We can no longer rely on the U.S. federal government.” — Kevin Sheekey, Global Head of Communications, Government Relations and Marketing for Bloomberg L.P.
In June, the ISC Board takes time to reflect on ISC’s accomplishments from the year before, and chart our path for the year(s) to come.
This year we had a special guest, Kevin Sheekey, to enliven the discussion. Sheekey’s job is Global Head of Communications, Government Relations and Marketing for Bloomberg L.P., but he also works directly with Michael Bloomberg to support Bloomberg’s efforts to address the challenge of climate change.
Bloomberg has supported partnerships and coalitions focused on reducing America’s dependence on coal, efforts to honor America’s commitment under the Paris climate agreement, and the America’s Pledge – an initiative that connects American cities, states, and business to fight climate change.
America’s Pledge has grown to include over 2,700 government and business leaders – representing 159 million people and $6.2 trillion in GDP – who have committed to act. But a commitment without strong implementation is a hollow promise. Sheekey noted that ISC’s work to remove the barriers to implementation by providing training, technical assistance, and tools to cities and factories in the US and Asia – helping them achieve significant reductions in GHG emissions – is critical to meeting the ambitious goals of the Paris agreement.
In fact, that’s why Bloomberg Philanthropies recently announced the American Cities Climate Challenge, which will provide a wide range of support to 20 cities deemed “most likely to move America forward” on the Paris agreement (selected out of the 100 most populated cities in the country).
This is an exciting initiative, and compliments ISC’s long-standing work with cities and communities in the US who for whatever reason aren’t likely to make Bloomberg’s top 20. Working with these cities helps us gain practical insights of obstacles, and can surface solutions that are workable for a large representative group of underserved cities in the United States, and around the world.
As Sheekey said: “farsighted leadership on the climate challenge must now come from cities, states, the business community and organizations like ISC. We can no longer rely on the US federal government.”
Having worked with innovative leaders at the local level for more than 25 years, ISC has experienced firsthand the power of local action. As Sheekey noted, there is every reason to be hopeful if we can mobilize the knowledge and passion of thousands of these local leaders.
It’s time to step up and do our part.