In 2017, Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG) launched a nationwide climate change program in partnership with the Sierra Club and Bloomberg Philanthropies, deploying lawyers across the country to help American cities convert to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
In the absence of federal government leadership, L4GG is helping the United States meet the goals of the International Paris Accord (the "Paris Agreement").
IT'S UP TO US TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE. HERE'S WHY.
In June 2017, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the first international treaty to establish world-wide goals of lowering the earth’s temperature and reversing the damaging effects of climate change.
From its inception, the Trump administration has rolled back many federal measures designed to meet our Paris Agreement commitments, including Obama’s Clean Power Plan and associated regulations. These actions fly in the face of science, our obligation to protect our environment and future generations, and the will of the American People, the clear majority of whom are calling for our country to do more.
STATES, CITIES, AND BUSINESSES CAN LEAD THE WAY (WITH OUR HELP).
Despite federal obstruction, states, cities, and businesses have continued to take significant steps to reduce carbon emissions and meet America’s Paris Agreement goals. The public and private sectors are stepping in to create collaborative solutions to move beyond fossil fuels and support a transition to renewable energy. Cities and smaller municipalities are seizing opportunities to provide leadership, to innovate, and to deliver sustainable energy and economic development.
To drive change at the local level and support municipalities across the Country, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the Sustainable Cities initiative and provided major funding for the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100, Mayor’s for 100% Clean Energy, and Beyond Coal campaigns – initiatives designed to retire fossil fuel power plants and transform our energy grid to 100% renewables.
The Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Program has already exceeded its goal of having at least 100 cities transition to 100% renewables by 2030, and could achieve even greater impact with more manpower and legal resources. That’s where L4GG comes in.
L4GG PROVIDES CRITICAL RESOURCES TO HELP MUNICIPALITIES TRANSITION TO 100% RENEWAL ENERGY.
L4GG launched the "It’s Up to Us" climate change program in October 2017, starting with a webinar hosted by Michael Brune (Sierra Club’s Executive Director), Antha Williams (Bloomberg Philanthropies' Head of Environmental Programs), Jillian Blanchard (L4GG Climate Change Program Lead), and more than 200 interested L4GG volunteers.
While Bloomberg Philanthropies and Sierra Club have set ambitious goals and targets, and maintain relationships with municipalities, they have small legal departments and would be unable to manage a nationwide fleet of legal volunteers. That's why L4GG's role is so important.
Municipalities want to act, but they need to know how. While they have many common questions, answers must accommodate disparate state and local regulatory parameters. L4GG volunteers are working to provide critical information to local decision-makers looking to switch to renewable energy.
L4GG has broken down large research projects into discrete tasks that volunteer attorneys can manage in their spare time, with varying levels of environmental expertise and commitments of time. "It’s Up to Us" is an evolving program that currently has almost 200 volunteers working on two critical projects in its first phase.
project #1: state profiles
L4GG is working to create state-level research memoranda ("state profiles") to be used by municipalities and key stakeholders in 20 high-priority states. These profiles are designed to answer specific legal questions related to renewable energy law and policy. Topics include:
state authority over utilities;
public utility commission regulations;
limits to forming municipal utilities; and
other pathways to renewable energy within the state.
L4GG has more than 100 volunteers conducting invaluable legal research and drafting state profiles to help expedite the local shift to 100% renewable energy by 2030.
project #2: PATHWAYS TO RENEWAL ENERGY
L4GG volunteer lawyers with greater environmental expertise are working to provide guidance on the top pathways to renewables, such as Community Choice Aggregation and Franchise Agreements with investor-owned utilities.
Identifying and providing guidance on pathways to renewable energy requires deep-dive research to identify successful case studies, model legislation and regulations, and other helpful documents to help interested municipalities implement each pathway.
Smart lawyers can make a big difference. L4GG volunteers are on track to complete renewable energy policy State Profiles for the Sierra Club’s top 20 priority states by the end of June 2018. If you'd like to help, click the "Volunteer" button below and fill out our brief volunteer interest form!
Sustaining Member Program
L4GG's climate change program is funded by Sustaining Members, individual monthly donors who provide the ongoing support required to cover the costs of programs like these. For as little as $10 per month, you can make a big difference. Click the button below to join today!