News
City of Carmel to Participate in Earth Hour this Saturday

March 25, 2014 – The City of Carmel is encouraging residents and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights, computers, cars and other electronic items as part of the worldwide Earth Hour event taking place on this Saturday, March 29, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.  The City itself will also be participating by turning out all of the lights in and around City Hall as it has for the past four years.  By taking part in this global “lights out” event, Carmel will be acknowledging our commitment to personal and operational actions that benefit the planet in the year ahead.

New this year, the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana will be partnering with the City and will be hosting several badge activities for girls of all ages to complete while the lights are out at City Hall.  One such activity will involve star gazing through telescopes.  This is an exciting partnership which will raise more awareness around this event and will involve the youth; who will be inheriting the world we leave behind.

Earth Hour began as a single-city initiative – in Sydney, Australia – in 2007 and has since grown into a global movement.  Hundreds of millions of people from more than 7,000 cities and towns in 152 countries/territories across every continent switch off their lights for an hour as a massive show of concern for the environment; creating the largest, symbolic mass participation event in the world.  Earth Hour's mission is three-fold: To bring people together through a symbolic hour-long event; To galvanize people into taking action beyond the hour; And to create an interconnected global community sharing the mutual goal of creating a sustainable future for the planet.

To get a better sense of the magnitude and inspiring nature of the event, please take a moment to watch the Earth Hour 2014 video at http://ehour.me/2014ViD.

"The City is pleased to support Earth Hour this year to emphasize the importance of conserving our energy resources. This is a symbolic event in which every single person can participate. Our city prides itself on being environmentally friendly, and this is one more way we can encourage our residents and businesses to care for our planet," said Mayor Jim Brainard.

For more information on Earth Hour, or to sign up as an individual for the event, visit www.earthhour.org. For more information on the City of Carmel's environmental initiatives, visit the city's Web site at www.carmel.in.gov.

 

 
Air Quality Health Advisory

To check local air quality, visit Air Now and click on the Current AQI button (Air Quality Index).

MARCH 7 & 8, 2014
Fine Particle Pollution Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Elevated levels of fine particle pollution have prompted the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability and the Marion County Health Department to issue an Air Quality Health Advisory for March 7 & 8.

The Air Quality in central Indiana is UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS. The primary pollutant is fine particulate.

Residents are urged to monitor their health and reduce prolonged or heavy exertion, especially if they suffer from heart or lung disease.

Fine particles are tiny pieces of soot that are released into the air when fuels like wood, coal, gas and diesel motor fuels are burned. Particle pollution has been linked to a variety of serious health problems, including stroke, as well as heart and lung disease.

 

 

 
President Obama appoints Mayor Brainard to Climate Task Force
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November 2014 -  In addition to taking aggressive steps to reduce carbon emissions that drive climate change, local communities must act now to prepare for climate impacts that can no longer be avoided. President Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience issued their recommendations on how the Federal Government can support local climate efforts. The Obama administration released the web-based Climate Resilience Toolkit to help communities respond to our changing climate.

Button_Climate_Resilience_Recommendations...Button_US_Climate_Resilience_Toolkit

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U.S. Mayors Not  Waiting on Washington to 
Tackle Climate Change

Survey Shows Cities Are Curbing Carbon Emissions 
in City Operations and Citywide

Washington, D.C., April 22, 2014 – The U.S. Conference of Mayors today released findings of a climate survey, showing that cities with a mayoral pledge or formal city council action to curb carbon emissions are making progress on their goals, with two-thirds reporting quantifiable reductions in emissions from city operations and one-third for citywide emissions.

Bridgeport (CT) Mayor Bill Finch and Carmel (IN) Mayor Jim Brainard presented the survey findings during a national press conference call to highlight U.S. mayors’ climate efforts, which were based on responses from 282 mayors representing cities of all population sizes and from all regions.

Entitled Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Actions in America’s Cities, the survey is the latest of three reports on successful city-led efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climatic events, adding to previously-released findings on city energy efficiency and technology initiatives and how cities invested federal stimulus funds to reduce energy use, deploy new energy technologies and curb harmful energy emissions.

“This survey shows how mayors are again leading on an issue that is solidly before us as a nation and before us in our communities. Mayors are doing many things, and mayors are doing great things, but mayors can’t do everything,” said Mayor Finch, who Co-Chairs the Conference’s Energy Independence and Climate Protection Task Force.

Mayor Brainard, Co-Chair of the Task Force said, “Mayors are united more than ever to tackle the problems associated with climate change. When we started this effort in 2005, we thought we had more time to act. Climatic events of late tell us we have to accelerate our efforts at every level.”

Mayor Brainard was among the first signatories to the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement in 2005, which today has garnered more than 1,060 signatories.

While the survey report can be found at usmayors.org/2014climatesurvey, the main findings are summarized below:

·         More than 2/3 of the cities with a mayoral pledge/formal city council action reported quantifiable greenhouse gas reductions in city operations;

·         Nearly one-third of these cities reported quantifiable reductions in overall emissions by the city at large;

·         Forty percent of all cities (282 respondents in the survey) are now working with their citizens to develop a climate adaptation plan;

·         More than three-quarters of all cities in the survey now have plans in place to respond to power outages;

·         For cities with such plans that experienced a power outage (in the last 5 years), one half modified their energy emergency response plans, with another 10 percent adopting an entirely new response plan;

“While Washington is talking about cutting carbon to protect our planet, mayors and their constituents are taking action across the board with millions of Americans actually doing something about it,” said Tom Cochran, Executive Director & CEO, U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Our USCM Climate Center with 1060 mayors is leading the way and mayors across the globe are not waiting for their national governments. Others talk about the future; mayors are walking toward our future. They are making a difference. This survey proves it.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released two related surveys, Energy Efficiency and Technologies in America’s Cities and Successful City Initiatives with Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Funding. They can be found at usmayors.org/2014energysurvey andusmayors.org/2014eecbgsurvey.

Five years ago, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant formula grants were distributed directly to cities by the U.S. Department of Energy. Of the $2.7 billion provided to the program in formula funding, about half of these dollars ($1.3 billion) were distributed directly to cities to support their energy and climate efforts, a commitment that ranked among the largest provided to local governments in the ARRA legislation.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors conceived the EECBG Program to engage the federal government in supporting the nation’s mayors in accelerating local energy and climate initiatives, especially the more than 1000 mayors who have joined as signatories to the Conference’s Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, a landmark pledge for mayors all across the country to take action to reduce carbon emissions in cities consistent with the goals of the Kyoto Protocol.

 

About the United States Conference of Mayors:

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.

 


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Climate efforts earn Carmel national praise

LOS ANGELES, February 18, 2014 – The City of Carmel’s roundabouts were once again front and center over the weekend as Mayor Jim Brainard wrapped up the second regional outreach gathering of the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resiliency. The meeting was held in Los Angeles. Mayor Brainard is a member of the Task Force and also serves as co-chair of the Energy Independence and Climate Protection Task Force and Advisory Board of Directors for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Carmel has emerged as a leader among cities for its aggressive installation of more time-saving and gas-saving roundabouts than any city in the United States, one of many environmentally-friendly measures the city has taken. This effort was noted on national television by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti during an interview on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous,” who hosted his own panel conversation on extreme weather events.

“So, we're Americans, we adapt, we innovate, we're good at doing those sorts of things,” Garcetti said. “But, you know, whether it's Mayor Brainard in Carmel, Indiana changing out stop intersections and making them roundabouts to take global warming, CO2 emissions out of the air, or Mayor Becker in Salt Lake City making sure his buildings are built in a green way. Mayors, tribal leaders, governors are really taking action now because we can't afford to deal with the consequences.”

Here is a link to the video:http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/t/video/week-extreme-weather-panel-22539907?source=thisweek

Here is a link to a transcript of the show:http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/week-transcript-kevin-spacey/story?id=22522050

Here is a link to coverage by the Los Angeles Times:http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-climate-change-task-force-obama-brown-garcetti--20140213,0,4650853.story#axzz2tbiNHk2c

Mayor Brainard is one of only four Republicans on the 26-member Task Force.

In December, the city of Carmel hosted the first meeting of the panel outside of Washington, in part due to the city’s reputation nationally as a city that adheres to smart growth principles. He is using his seat on the Task Force to continue sharing his ideas on environmental stewardship combined with creating jobs and improving the quality of life. He will also continue to advocate for sensible federal policies and programs that not only combat global warming but also protect cities and the economy from too much government overreach.

More information on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and the White House Council on Environmental Quality can be found at: 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/resilience/taskforce

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Successful White House meeting in Carmel
is 'only the beginning'

December 23, 2013 – A successful White House roundtable discussion on climate change, held Thursday, December 19, at the Monon Community Center, is just the first step in a lengthy effort by members of the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resiliency to listen, learn and then communicate the concerns of local communities to federal officials.

“This is only the beginning. As we head into the new year, I will be keeping the topic of climate change and the impact it is having on our cities and towns front and center at the national level,” said Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, who is a member of the Task Force and also serves as co-chair of the Energy Independence and Climate Protection Task Force and Advisory Board of Directors for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Thursday’s roundtable discussion was a gathering of more than two-dozen experts from a variety of fields, an audience of more than 100 local and regional leaders, all gathered to share ideas and convey concerns for a panel that was led by Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, David Agnew, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Mayor Brainard.

“I was encouraged to hear many heartfelt and thoughtful remarks from our distinguished panel of experts who came to us from a variety of professions – higher education, agriculture, business, law, energy, local government, statewide advocacy groups and those who work closely on environmental issues,” said Brainard. “This panel enjoyed a rare opportunity to speak directly to the President’s top advisor on the environment and climate change. President Obama’s administration has shown it is dedicated to working with state and local governments to find practical solutions to problems associated with climate change – some of which will come in the future, some of which we are already seeing.”

Thursday’s event was the first of its kind outside of Washington, D.C. for the Task Force. The White House chose Carmel in recognition of the city’s many efforts to instill a sense of environmental stewardship alongside the responsibility of fostering an economy that creates jobs and improves the quality of life for all citizens.

“The kind of input we got from the panel was very helpful, very usable. The federal government needs to work in partnership with communities across the country to ensure we are prepared to deal with the impacts of climate change. The President has said we don’t have to choose between a healthy environment and a healthy economy. We can do both, and Carmel is a great example of a community that has done this,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Specific priorities discussed during the roundtable included agriculture, water resources, resiliency and vulnerability of energy systems, electrical grids and the impact of extreme weather events. The plan is for the Task Force to work over next nine months to gather and share information across the country that can inform federal policies and federal grant making rules in such a way as to help local communities deal with the impact of climate change.

“I want to praise Mayor Brainard and the citizens of Carmel, Indiana for making so many great things happen in this community. This is a fine example of thinking globally and acting locally. This panel today was outstanding. We will take all these good ideas back to Washington and put them to use. What we heard today is going to inform what we do at the federal level,” said David Agnew, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Mayor Brainard, one of only four Republicans on the 26-member Task Force, has earned a reputation nationally as a smart growth advocate. As Mayor of Carmel, he has led the way in the installation of more time-saving and gas-saving roundabouts than any city in America, one of many measures the city has taken.

The Mayor plans to use his seat on the Task Force to continue sharing his ideas on environmental stewardship combined with creating jobs and improving the quality of life. He will also continue to advocate for sensible federal policies and programs that not only combat global warming but also protect cities and the economy from too much government overreach.

More information on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and the White House Council on Environmental Quality can be found at:

Jim Brainard is a five term Mayor of the City of Carmel, Indiana. The City has been honored with many awards for its leadership on key environmental initiatives. Carmel was awarded first place in the Climate Protection Awards from the U.S. Conference of Mayors for its roundabout program and national runner-up of the Home Depot Awards of Excellence in Community Trees.

Carmel has also been the recipient of the Sterling Tree City Award, honorable mention for Municipal Excellence from the National League of Cities and has been designated a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Mayor Brainard is serving as co-chair of the Climate Protection Task Force and Advisory Board of Directors for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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SPECIAL WHITE HOUSE EVENT
Roundtable discussion on climate control

Who: Nancy Sutley, Chair, White House Council on Environmental Quality; David Agnew, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, member of President Obama’s new Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience; other experts and dignitaries invited by the White House and City of Carmel.

When: Thursday, December 19, 2013

12:15 p.m. – PRESS CONFERENCE immediately following the invitation only roundtable discussion. Media and cameras are not admitted during the roundtable.

Where: Monon Community Center, East Building, 1235 Central Park Drive East, Carmel, IN 46032. Press conference will be held in the “Meeting Room.”

Details: The City of Carmel has been honored by being one of the first locations for a roundtable discussion with the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and other experts in the field regarding the work of President Obama’s new Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience – a 26-member committee that held its first gathering earlier this week in Washington, D.C.

Next week, the dialogue on climate preparedness and resiliency will continue in Carmel at the Monon Community Center with Nancy Sutley, Jim Brainard and a select group of prominent business, environmental and academic leaders from across Indiana who will be given a rare opportunity to give input to the chief advisor on environmental issues to the President. This opportunity will give Indiana stakeholders a greater voice and ability to share expertise and recommendations with the President on how to better build our level of preparedness for climate change.

More information on the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and the White House Council on Environmental Quality can be found at:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/resilience/taskforce

 


 

Mayor Jim Brainard keynote speaker at
The New Republic climate panel in Washington D.C.

December 12, 2013 -– Mayor Jim Brainard will be a keynote speaker and panelist at a special climate change event hosted by The New Republic at the Freedom Forum in Washington today. The event, The State of Climate Change, will focus on federal climate policy. Mayor Brainard is a member of a new White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

Mayor Brainard will be featured on a panel of experts that includes Mayor Bob Dixson of Greensburg, KS, who also was appointed to President Obama’s new Task Force; Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center, Georgetown University Law Center; Joseph Goffman, Senior Counsel, Office of Air and Radiation, United States Environmental Protection Agency; Jonathan Cohn, Senior Editor, The New Republic; Frank Foer, Editor, The New Republic; Tom Perriello, President and CEO, Center for American Progress Action Fund and Counselor for Policy, Center for American Progress .

“It is an honor to join this distinguished panel to discuss a matter of supreme importance to our nation and our cities. I look forward to sharing some of our success stories in Carmel while learning about others as well,” said Mayor Brainard.

The New Republic is a magazine that covers politics, culture, and big ideas from a thought-provoking perspective.  Well-known for its century-old tradition of providing context and analysis beyond the daily headlines, The New Republic has evolved into a media company that produces live events that focus on the most pressing issues of the day. Some 150-200 thought leaders on energy and the environment from Capitol Hill, advocacy groups, NGOs, law firms, think tanks, top universities, and businesses will be in attendance at the event being underwritten by the Center for American Progress.

 


 

White House Climate Task Force Holds First Meeting

December 8, 2013 - Mayor Brainard will be attending the first meeting of the climate task force on Tuesday, Dec. 10.    The purpose of President Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience is to advise the Administration on how the federal government can better respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. Communities across the country are already experiencing the early impacts of climate change, ranging from extreme heat and drought, wildfires, more severe storms, more intense tornadoes, floods and more damaging storm surges from higher sea levels.  Governors, Mayors and tribal leaders from across the country will play a critical role in helping the Federal government  address the needs of these communities more effectively. At this first meeting members will have an opportunity to articulate their aspirations for the work of the Task Force. The task force is being co-chaired by Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality  and  David Agnew, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

 



President Establishes State, Local, and Tribal Leaders
Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

November 1, 2013 - Today, President Obama established a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise the Administration on how the federal government can better respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Task Force members include state, local and tribal leaders from across the country who will use their first-hand experiences in building climate preparedness and resilience in their communities to inform their recommendations to the Administration.

Task Force members are comprised of governors, mayors, county officials and tribal leaders, representing a diverse range of states, cities, and communities.

The President today also signed an Executive Order that directs federal agencies to take a series of steps to make it easier for American communities to strengthen their resilience to extreme weather and prepare for other impacts of climate change.

 

 

 
Mayor Brainard honored at International Making Cities Livable Conference

July 2013 - At the 50th International Making Cities Livable Conference (IMCL) in Portland, OR, June 23-27, 2013 Mayor James Brainard received the 2013 International Making Cities Livable Joseph P. Riley Jr. Award“for his inspirational leadership in creating a vibrant, multi-functional heart for Carmel, IN. The beauty, harmony and diversity of the compact urban fabric of City Center and the Arts District, squares, parks, theater and Palladium demonstrate a clear understanding of true urbanity and a vision of Carmel as a great city.”

Mayor Brainard spoke eloquently at the 50th IMCL Conference to great acclaim. Fellow Mayors and council members, professionals in planning, public health, urban design, architecture and social sciences from around the world were profoundly moved and impressed by the beauty of Carmel’s new buildings and urban fabric, and the quality of everyday life they will make possible.

The award is named after Joseph P. Riley Jr., Mayor of Charleston, SC since 1975, guiding spirit in the US Conference of Mayors, founder of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, and Member of the IMCL Advisory Board. This is the first time this special award has been presented. It is an award that will be reserved for Mayors who follow in Mayor Riley’s footsteps – who are visionary, passionate about shaping the built environment to enhance the lives of citizens, and who follow the principles of True Urbanism.

About IMCL: The International Making Cities Livable Council was founded in 1985 to enhance well-being, strengthen community, improve social and physical health, and increase civic engagement by reshaping the built environment of our cities, suburbs and towns.

 

 
Republic to service with Compressed Natural Gas fueled trucks

July 2013 - The City of Carmel supports environmental initiatives and encourages its residents, business owners and contractors to do the same.   The City is pleased to announce that its contracted residential trash & curbside recycling service provider, Republic Services, is servicing the City of Carmel exclusively with compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks.  The City of Carmel is Republic Services’ first community in the State of Indiana to be serviced 100 percent with CNG trucks for standard residential service.

CNG fueled trucks are an environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline or diesel fuel powered vehicles.  The benefits of CNG trucks are:

  • Natural gas vehicles produce up to 95 percent less particulate matter than diesel and gasoline-powered models, up to 95 percent less carbon monoxide emissions and up to 80 percent less nitrogen oxide emissions. (U.S. Department of Energy)
  • Natural gas is found in abundance in North America. Domestic supplies are projected to last 120 years.   This reduces America’s energy dependence on foreign countries.

By converting to CNG trucks the residents of Carmel and Central Indiana will experience less air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions than with standard waste service trucks.   Currently 51 percent of Republic’s fleet has been converted to natural gas.

“We are very pleased that Republic Services chose Carmel as the first city to be exclusively serviced by CNG trucks.   As a City government, we have a policy to purchase only alternative fueled vehicles.  Republic’s decision to convert to CNG fueled trucks matches our own environmental policy,” said Mayor Jim Brainard.

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