Charlotte Mecklenburg Climate Leaders
In early 2018 the Charlotte City Council invited local leaders from the environmental, health, faith, justice, business, and government sectors to provide input on a suite of climate-related policies and commitments that eventually became the Sustainable and Resilient Charlotte by 2050 Resolution and the Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The community stakeholders chose to organize themselves as the Charlotte Mecklenburg Climate Leaders (CMCL) and began meeting monthly at Clean Air Carolina’s offices, with CAC Executive Director June Blotnick chairing the meetings and coordinating the group’s activities.
Recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis, CMCL advocates for a swift transition to clean renewable energy to meet the city’s emission goals for its fleet and facilities. This includes replacing Charlotte’s fleet of 323 buses with electric vehicles. CMCL members also sit on the SEAP’s four external content groups (Energy Generation, Workforce Development, Buildings, and Transportation) to guide the City’s implementation of greenhouse gas reduction strategies.
Now representing 30 organizations, CMCL members are working with the Mecklenburg County Commission’s Environmental Stewardship Committee to adopt a resolution similar to Charlotte’s. A series of Lunch and Learn programs were held in 2019 to educate commissioners about the climate crisis, its impacts on Mecklenburg County, potential carbon-reduction strategies, and information on how other cities and counties in North Carolina are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.