Climate Change Begins at the Local Level
You’ve heard the phrase: “Think globally, act locally.” The USC Sol Price School’s Executive Education (EXED) Forum for Local Leaders believes you must act on climate change at the local level to help the planet as a whole.
Participants at USC’s Sustainability Summit held recently in Palm Springs — including local government officials, industry experts and USC faculty researchers focused on urban planning, economics and the environment — share this belief. Sponsoring organizations included Southern California Edison and the Metropolitan Water District.
“The most impactful climate action is at the local level,” said Frank Zerunyan, director of Executive Education at USC. “We bring our academic research to the practice. We teach what we study to promote sustainability. Our goal is to reach as many cities as possible.”
We can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help to meet these ambitious state goals.”Jenny Pearce, SCE Principal Manager
Participants learned about the economics of sustainability, transportation electrification, urban planning and actionable steps that cities and counties can take to implement their green ideas. Reaching out to the Inland Empire was a first, as this was the first USC Price EXED event offered outside the university’s downtown LA campus.
“I loved being part of the inspiring USC Price School Sustainability Summit,” said state Sen. Ben Allen. “There were impactful presentations from top-notch professors and robust dialogue from the participants, who are impressive local government professionals in their own right.”
“The summit was such a valuable use of my time,” said Malibu Mayor Karen Ferrer. “I look forward to putting as much as possible into practice and to attending my next USC Price EXED Forum.”
SCE representatives spoke about the need for climate mitigation to help reduce greenhouse gases and clean the air in Southern California as outlined in its Pathway 2045 plan. SCE released the white paper last November. It focuses on the critical changes needed for the state to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.
“We can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help to meet these ambitious state goals,” said Jenny Pearce, SCE principal manager and a speaker at the summit.
SCE has long been a proponent of the USC Sol Price School’s EXED Forum for Local Leaders. Since 2013, about 400 people have participated in the program, which offers a curriculum in ethics, governance and public policy. The effort is designed to deepen the participants’ understanding of policy issues to improve public administration.
“Our objective is to have well-informed local elected officials,” said Zanku Armenian, SCE’s director of Public Affairs and a member of the board of advisors for the EXED Forum for Local Leaders.
For tips on how you can act locally and reduce your own carbon footprint, click here.