About Citizens’ Greener Evanston

Mission

Citizens’ Greener Evanston works to make Evanston a more environmentally just, sustainable, and resilient community.

History

In October 2006, the Evanston City Council voted unanimously to sign the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, thereby pledging to achieve the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-reduction target set in the Kyoto Protocol. For Evanston, this translated into a goal to reduce emissions 13 percent (relative to a 2005 baseline) by 2012.  The agreement had been championed by several sustainability groups known collectively as the Network for Evanston’s Future. The Network then recruited community volunteers to work with City staff to develop a plan of action to meet the emissions-reduction goal.

The resulting Evanston Climate Action Plan (ECAP) was presented to the community in May 2008 at a gathering of over 300 enthusiastic Evanstonians—and was unanimously accepted by the City Council that November. The volunteers who had worked on the plan then formed an organization—Citizens’ Greener Evanston—to help implement it.

As one of its first major initiatives, CGE played a lead role in securing voter approval of the Community Choice Aggregation referendum in March 2012 and in encouraging the City Council to contract for 100 percent renewable electricity for aggregation participants. Thanks chiefly to the shift to green power for residents and small businesses, Evanston reached its 13 percent emissions-reduction goal in summer 2013.

Recognizing that much more remains to be done, CGE worked with the City’s Sustainable Programs Coordinator to develop a next climate action goal—a 20 percent reduction in emissions by 2016—and a plan to achieve it. The City Council unanimously approved the 20%-by-2016 goal and the Livability Plan in May 2014. Evanston has now exceeded that goal and CGE continues to work with the City as it develops and implements its next Climate Action Plan.

Programs

Climate Change

  • Support the development and implementation of the Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan.
  • Work to reduce Evanston’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental Justice

  • Foster awareness and promote action on environmental justice issues within the City of Evanston.
  • Work to ensure that no neighborhood or residential area in Evanston bears a disproportionate burden of environmental nuisances, hazards and risks.
  • Work to ensure that environmental assets are fairly distributed across the community and that they have desirable features that support health, well-being, and a sense of community.

Energy

  • Promote Evanston’s electricity aggregation plan while working toward a long-term solution to make renewable energy available to all Evanston electricity customers (residential and business).
  • Advocate for City policies which encourage local renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Promote local solar installations and community solar.
  • Work to improve energy efficiency of all Evanston buildings.

Transportation

  • Make public transportation more accessible and appealing to Evanston residents.
  • Make Evanston a safer place for walking and bicycling to increase active transportation.
  • Advocate for City policies and infrastructure investments which help achieve these goals.

Natural Habitat Evanston

  • Create, restore and conserve habitat that migratory birds and pollinators need to thrive.
  • Encourage public and private policies that enhance habitat.
  • Educate the community regarding the needs and value of birds, pollinators, wildlife, and our natural heritage, including by certifying Evanston as a National Wildlife Federation community habitat.
  • Create habitat corridors that cross into our neighboring communities.

Edible Evanston

  • Create a sense of community around sustainable local food production by creating urban farms, community gardens, greenhouses, and composting sites.
  • Create opportunities for food sharing among residents.
  • Provide educational opportunities for Evanston residents to expand their knowledge of nutrition, growing food, composting, and food waste management.
  • Incorporate a long-term commitment to development and preservation of open green spaces in the urban environment.

Water

  • Protect our watershed and aquatic ecosystem.
  • Keep our drinking water safe and public.
  • Promote infrastructure investments that mitigate pollution and urban flooding.
  • Provide educational opportunities for Evanston residents to expand their awareness of Lake Michigan.
  • Promote water conservation practices.

CGE Board of Directors

(Including four board members with roles on the CGE Executive Committee)

Dick Co

Sara Diggs

Tim Eberhart

Bea Echeverria

James Henderson

Jerry Herst

Steve Hoffman

Ken Kastman

Christie Klimas

Peter Laundy

Lauren Marquez Viso, Vice President

Bill McDowell

Barbara Miller

Jonathan Nieuwsma, President

Ken Olden, Treasurer

Nicolai Schousboe

Leslie Shad

Haley Siculan

Jeff Smith

Hal Sprague

Clare Tallon-Rouen

Chuck Wasserburg, Secretary

How to Contact CGE

Join CGE!