September 2022 - View online

A Message from our Climate Policy Director

What an eventful summer! I’m excited to share with you what our Climate Policy team has been up to these last few months. We’ve certainly been busy and have a lot happening this fall as well—keep on reading for more information and I hope you see you at some of our upcoming events and workshops! 

What's been happening...

The Climate Policy program kicked off in June with deep dives at the Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit. I had the honor of moderating the Equitable Climate Action Plenary Panel featuring representatives from the City of Cincinnati OH, City of Dayton OH, City of Lima OH, and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. More than 400 summit audience members had the opportunity to hear how Midwestern mayors from cities of all sizes are centering climate and equity in local government action. And alongside our partners Groundwork Ohio River Valley, the City of Cincinnati, and the University of Cincinnati, our program co-hosted the panel “Revolutionary Strategies for a Climate Safe Region”, which featured our ongoing Climate Safe Neighborhoods Partnership.

Plenary panel speakers with Green Umbrella’s Climate Policy Director, Savannah Sullivan, at June’s Sustainability Summit.

Community members gather at Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses in the West End for a Green Cincinnati Plan public meeting in August.

Speaking of which, it has been an active few months for our equity work. With GroundworkORV and Working in Neighborhoods, we successfully wrapped up the Beekman Corridor Climate Advisory Group, where 16 community leaders joined us for six weeks to share their expertise and draft resilience plans for five Cincinnati neighborhoods. Similarly we co-hosted four Green Cincinnati Plan Community Meetings with community partners across eleven climate vulnerable neighborhoods, and more than 200 residents attending in total! And be sure to check out our guest blog below by Climate Policy Coordinator, Tyeisha Cole, for information on our recently released Climate Equity Benchmarking Report.


Last but not least, we’re thrilled to have had eight speakers and 150+ participants from across the tri-state join us for the launch of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Climate Collaborative (RCC) in July. The Enquirer even published my op-ed on the RCC and regional action! We followed up the event by co-hosting a Green Drinks happy hour at Braxton Brewing in Covington to celebrate the launch and partnered with the City of Covington on a walking tour of their local resilience projects. Nearly 100 attendees joined! Check out the RCC launch recording here, and if you haven’t already please complete our brief climate action survey and sign up for a working group feedback session.

Stephanie Bacher shares information on the City of Covington’s forthcoming sustainable development initiatives.

Green Drinks attendees gather around a bioswale in Covington during the resilience walking tour hosted by the City.

As always, thank you for your interest in and support of this work. Until next time!

Savannah Sullivan, Climate Policy Director


What does the Inflation Reduction Act mean for local governments?

This month, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)—which includes the biggest national climate investment in history—was signed into law. The IRA includes $369B in climate provisions including clean energy and electric vehicle tax incentives, domestic solar panels and battery manufacturing, resilient agriculture, and more. Overall $60B is tagged for environmental justice priorities (the Climate

and Economic Justice Screening Tool can be used to ensure equitable implementation). IRA efforts are anticipated to cut pollution by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030. The win is not without some challenges, as there were also provisions that tie renewable development to fossil fuel leasing/production, and expand fossil enabling technologies like carbon capture. Check out this blog post from the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University for six broad ways local governments will need to navigate the IRA.

Green Umbrella Hosts Two Distinguished Humphrey Fellows

In August, we hosted two Distinguished Humphrey Fellows through the IU Environmental Resilience Institute. We were fortunate to be paired with Ron Goodridge (Environmental Officer–Government of Barbados Ministry of Environment and Drainage) and Dr. Partha Jyoti Das (Head of Water, Climate, and Hazard Division–Aaranyak). Ron and Partha brought tremendous experience in local to global

climate action governance, community engagement, and science. They provided feedback on our Climate Policy Program Strategic Plan, Regional Climate Collaborative governance structures, and recent Climate Equity Benchmarking Analysis. Ron and Partha also attended Climate Safe sessions, an exchange with all of Green Umbrella's staff, an OKI Regional Council of Governments network meeting, a Regional Climate Collaborative Working Group Feedback Session, and Green Drinks. And of course, we had to introduce them to Cincinnati chili. We will continue to engage with Ron and Partha in the coming months, and welcome them back to Cincinnati anytime!


City of Covington, Kentucky

This season we’re excited to feature the City of Covington, KY! Not only did Covington recently pass a resolution supporting climate resilient discussions, actions, and policy creation, they worked to provide significant energy efficiency benefits to Covington Independent Public Schools. The district has already seen $272,719 of savings, ~$400K in rebates from Duke Energy, and improved conditions for students. Next, the district will be installing solar panels on three elementary schools. This

year a Covington’s Central Riverfront redevelopment project began incorporating sustainable development for stormwater management, renewable energy, and green space into initial public infrastructure–and $650K will be credited to the City from sale of used/salvageable demolition material kept from the landfill. The Urban Forestry division is focused on heat island mediation by organizing and executing tree plantings. The City, Center for Great Neighborhoods, and Keep Covington Beautiful plan to partner with the Greater Cincinnati Regional Climate Collaborative to expand community-based climate solutions in NKY!


Ramping Up To Be A Lean, Green, Equitable Machine
Tyeisha Cole, Green Umbrella 

Green Umbrella recently completed a Climate Equity Benchmarking Analysis. The final report includes 400+ innovative strategies from cities across the U.S. and some international case studies. These policies and programs will inform the development of the 2023 Green Cincinnati Plan, as well as act as a resource for communities across our 10-county region. Read on to learn more and explore the report!

Reflections from a Climate Advisory Group Leader
Darryl Franklin, Beekman Corridor Climate Advisory Group

In summer 2022, Green Umbrella and GroundworkORV hosted the Beekman Corridor Climate Advisory Group in partnership with the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability, Working in Neighborhoods, and 16 community leaders. Read Darryl’s reflections on the group and next steps here.

Climate Policy: July 2022 Update
Kylie Johnson, Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund

In 2022, the OEC Action Fund continues to speak out for clean air, safe water, vibrant public lands, bold climate action, and a strong democracy. The fight to protect our environment has never been easy—but Ohio’s future is worth it. The OEC Action Fund provides a brief update on the latest federal, state, and local policy news for you here.

New Tool Provides Environmental Analysis Abilities to Regional Communities

Margaret Minzner, OKI Regional Council of Governments

In partnership with the Greenspace Impact Team, the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments developed the online Environmental Mitigation and Suitability Modeler based on the regional need to find potential environmental mitigation projects and prioritize areas for greenspace protection. Learn more here.



Regional Climate Collaborative Working Group Feedback Sessions

Join Green Umbrella over the next six weeks to share ideas on what kind of climate action you want to see in your community! We are hosting weekly feedback sessions on local government, community engagement, elected officials, and regional resources.

Register Here

Green Cincinnati Plan Focus Area Subcommittee Meetings

Join the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability, Green Umbrella, and Groundwork Ohio River Valley at upcoming Green Cincinnati Plan Subcommittee Meetings. Share your ideas on what climate actions should be prioritized to build a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient Cincinnati! 

View Schedule

2022 Ohio Public Interest Environmental Law Conference

September 29, 2022

Join the Ohio Environmental Council on September 29, 2022 at the Audubon Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Affordable rates to attend in person and free virtual registration. 

Register Here

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