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KyotoUSA is an all volunteer, grassroots organization that encourages U.S. cities and their residents to reduce the climate altering greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) for which they are responsible.
Global climate disruption is the most serious threat facing the planet today. Studies conducted by the world's most respected climate scientists demonstrate that we must act collectively and immediately to make significant reductions in the the amount of greenhouse gases that we are releasing into the atmosphere. Our failure to act will result in catastrophic and irreversible consequences for all life on this planet.
Many countries around the globe are attempting to address this problem. In an agreement known as the Kyoto Protocol, most industrialized countries have agreed to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. To date, however, those efforts have fallen well short of the type of bold action that is needed to reverse the decades of uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels and the continuing destruction of the planet's forests.
Without the active participation of the U.S., Europe, China, and India in making significant reductions in their carbon emissions, we can expect to experience more of the severe climate disruptions that occurred during 2011.
While the U.S. government struggles with a political response to the need to reduce GHGs, a growing number of States have formed regional alliances that are establishing limits on greenhouse gas emissions. And local efforts, often driven by citizen advocacy, are encouraging people, businesses, schools, religious institutions, and local governments to look for ways to reduce their carbon emissions.
Thanks to the efforts of ICLEI's Local Governments for Sustainability, more than 600 U.S. cities have measured their greenhouse gas emissions and are implementing policies to reduce them, while realizing significant financial benefits to city coffers in the process.
With the support of KyotoUSA, Berkeley officially endorsed the Kyoto Protocol in January 2005. Subsequently, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels successfully petitioned the US Conference of Mayors to endorse his "Climate Protection Agreement" (CPA), a statement that embraces the emissions reductions targets outlined in the Kyoto Protocol. As of January 2012, nearly 1,100 U.S. mayors have signed the CPA. Many of these cities endorsed the CPA as a result of citizen advocacy.
At KyotoUSA, our current focus is on assisting California school districts to reduce their energy consumption and to install renewable energy systems with the support of our HELiOS Project (Helios Energy Lights Our Schools). Visit the HELiOS Project website to learn how you can help your school district join the ranks of other California school districts that are already enjoying the benefits of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.