Making Equitable Climate Action a Reality in New Orleans

Year Complete: 2021
Grant Amount: $60,000
Local Government: New Orleans, LA
Local Foundation: Greater New Orleans Foundation

Project Purpose

To implement Taking Steps on Equity and Climate report recommendations selected by frontline leaders and advocate and integrate report recommendations into the City’s updated Climate Action Plan.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons about strategies, tools, and tactics that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

With this project taking place during a pandemic and a natural disaster, there has been significant turnover of staff within the parties. It has stressed the importance of succession planning and sustainability in the event of workforce changes. Specifically, the turnover in local government due to term limitations and attrition requires staff redundancies to ensure the smooth transition and continuation of the work.

Lessons for developing a collaborative relationship between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s)

It is important and necessary to take the time to build authentic trusting relationships between parties and partners. The time taken to build community ultimately makes the next stages of the work easier.  Everyone is clear on the overall goal and is trusting in the methods of the individual partners to achieve that goal.

Additional Information and Resources

The project was highlighted by Mayor Cantrell at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate that was convened by President Biden on Earth Day, April 2021 and viewed by people in New Orleans and around the world. The video is available here.