Knoxville, TN - The Obama Administration today named the City of Knoxville as a “Climate Action Champion,” one of 16 communities across the country to receive the new designation in recognition of efforts to mitigate and prepare for the possible effects of climate change.

Earlier this fall the White House launched the Climate Action Champions competition to identify and recognize local climate leaders and to provide targeted federal support to help those communities further raise their ambitions. Following a competitive process led by the Department of Energy, the Administration today announced the first cohort of Climate Action Champions. Knoxville is the only municipality in the Southeastern U.S. to make the list. (You can see the full list at        

Knoxville was recognized for its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. “In order to execute on those targets,” the White House said, “the city developed a planning process that engages the major stakeholders, including utilities and community grassroots organizations, and formalizes efforts to integrate energy provision, utilization, procurement, waste, and urban/agricultural use into the city’s Energy and Sustainability Work Plan.

Based on the City’s latest inventory (detailed in the 2014 Energy & Sustainability Work Plan), emissions from municipal operations are down 12.99 percent and community emissions are down 7.75 percent relative to 2005 levels.

Mayor Madeline Rogero recently completed her service on President Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, which made recommendations for ways the federal government can help local communities prepare for the effects of climate change.

 “It is an honor to be recognized for our work on sustainability and climate resilience, and I am grateful for the president’s support,” Mayor Rogero said. “This designation as a Climate Action Champion will help us amplify and build on our existing efforts to ensure a sustainable future for Knoxville and our entire region.”

The selected communities will benefit from facilitated peer-to-peer learning and mentorship and targeted support from a range of Federal programs. Furthermore, a coordinator will be provided to each Climate Action Champion to foster coordination and communication across the Federal agencies, national organizations, and foundations in support of the Champions. The coordinator will also assist efforts to raise awareness of funding and technical assistance opportunities that are available specifically for Climate Action Champions.