Back before the stimulus package or the Waxman-Markey bill, when no one was sure whether tax credits for renewable energy would be re-upped or allowed to fade away, U.S. mayors decided to adopt their own climate policy. In signing on to the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (a pact to strive for the greenhouse gas reductions targeted by the Kyoto Protocol), cities such as Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco sent a “we’ll do it on our own” statement in response to the lack of federal policy.
Since the launch of the agreement in 2005, some 500 more cities have signed on (and counting). And while some cities just signed the document and moved on, others have used the initiative to draft further innovative strategies that deliver meaningful reductions. The most effective strategies, by far, have been those that bring sustainability initiatives into the office of economic development and turn the city into an early adopter of “green” products and services. It’s exactly this sort of strategy that makes the following cities the best in the country to be a cleantech start-up. In a report, Living Cities Foundation interviewed sustainability directors and gathered data from city sustainability departments throughout the country. We’ve landed on the following seven as the best spots to start and grow a cleantech company (more interviews from the report here).
Image credit: arimoore.