International Analysis

Can Sewers Provide the Low-Carbon Heat We Need?

REUTERS 03/20/23 By Michael Shank In the search for cheap, green heat, cities from Toronto to Seattle are harnessing a wasted asset: human poop As the saying goes, waste is a terrible thing to waste. They don’t say that, but they should. Because one of our member cities, Toronto, is […]

What’s the Key to Climate Action? Better Communication

REUTERS 01/23/23 By Michael Shank and Esa Nikunen Cities that invest in effectively getting climate messages out can drive faster change Michael Shank is director of engagement for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and Esa Nikunen is director general of environment services for Helsinki. Have you ever been to the […]

3 Tangible Ways to Engage Your Community and Tackle Big Problems

FAST COMPANY 12/20/22 By Michael Shank From Amsterdam to Cleveland, cities are experimenting with tactics that bring community members into the conversation and empower them to make positive change. As more people migrate to urban areas at risk of climate disaster, cities are increasingly thinking and working outside the traditional […]

Indigenous People Need Real Compensation for Climate Change

NEWSWEEK 12/8/22 By Michael Shank and US Congressman Raul Grijalva As climate talks wrapped up at the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Egypt this past month, the attending delegates agreed to make long-awaited history. For the first time, the United Nations adopted a pact to establish a “loss […]

What New Job Titles do Cities Need to Tackle Climate Change?

REUTERS 10/11/22 By Michael Shank and Julia Peek Michael Shank is director of engagement at the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. Julia Peek is director of communications and mobilization at the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. When tackling climate change, one may think of the usual suite of approaches in policymaking: regulation […]

It’s Time to Cut the Emissions From Creating Our Homes and Offices

REUTERS 08/05/22 By Michael Shank Michael Shank is the director of engagement for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. With Indonesian islanders suing cement producers for climate damages recently, buildings are getting much-needed attention for their carbon-heavy footprint. The built environment generates nearly 50% of annual global emissions. Yet buildings hardly […]

Let’s Revamp How We Talk About Climate Change

REUTERS 06/10/22 By Michael Shank Anytime the international community convenes on climate change there’s a predictable mix of criticism and encouragement. This month’s 50th Anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration, commemorating the United Nations’ first official gathering to discuss the “human environment” and ways to protect it, was no different. After […]

Prosecute Putin for War Crimes. But Prosecute the U.S., Too

NEWSWEEK 03/17/22 By Michael Shank President Joe Biden has become the latest leader to call Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal when asked by reporters on Wednesday to weigh in on the subject. In so doing, he joins a growing list of international leaders to condemn Putin’s invasion of […]