International Analysis

Let’s Get to Grips With the Housing Crisis — The Young Demand It

POLITICO 06/13/24 By Michael Shank Incumbent leaders have largely failed to tackle key socioeconomic issues like the rising cost of housing. All across Europe and the U.S., new right parties are rising to power, threatening progress on many social and environmental issues, including critical climate action. The recent EU parliamentary […]

Six Steps to Decarbonising Buildings

CITYCHANGERS 06/11/24 By Michael Shank and Irene Garcia This article was written for by Irene Garcia, Built Environment Lead, and Michael Shank, Director of Engagement, both with the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. In it, they outline a six-step plan – illustrated by examples of how these steps have been implemented […]

Making Sustainability Stick in Government Regardless of Administrations

APOLITICAL 05/29/24 By Michael Shank This article is written by Dr Michael Shank, director of engagement at the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. Michael also teaches sustainable development at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. The following article is written in his personal capacity. The problem: Environmental programming risks getting […]

European Cities Are Becoming Climate Champs. You Could Be One, Too

EURONEWS 05/14/24 By Michael Shank All of the examples from Oslo, Stockholm, and Amsterdam represent new thinking and creative approaches to decarbonising a complex system in a partnered, multi-leveled way. And that’s the future of climate action and policy, Dr Michael Shank writes. A new acronym in the climate space […]

Why Climate Leaders Need to Prioritise Housing and Economic Concerns

APOLITICAL 04/22/24 By Michael Shank This article was written by Dr. Michael Shank, Director of Engagement, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. The problem: The climate community still isn’t adequately prioritising the public’s socio-economic concerns and needs. Why it matters: We’re alienating and excluding whole sectors of society by not attending to […]

Climate Budgeting and the Art of De-siloing City Governance

APOLITICAL 03/10/24 By Michael Shank Environmental budgeting processes in Oslo are introducing a new form of city governance featuring fewer silos, greater collaboration and more efficiencies and benefits across government. This article is written by Dr. Michael Shank, Director of Engagement at the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. The problem: There […]

Want to Accelerate Climate Action? Show People Real-Life Benefits

POLITICO 03/07/24 By Michael Shank Rather than leading with data and promoting health, safety and economic “co-benefits” as bonus add-ons, climate advocates need to flip the script. For years, the priority of many environmentalists has been to get the public to care about climate change via data and science — […]

Power to the People: Rethinking City Governance

APOLITICAL 01/07/24 By Michael Shank How cities in Europe are retrofitting to reflect new climate realities and community needs The problem: People are disengaged on climate and distrustful of government. Why it matters: We need everyone on board with no-one left behind. The solution: Embedding city staff within the community […]

Climate and Conflict Go Hand in Hand in the Middle East

NEWSWEEK 11/28/23 By Michael Shank Few recent events have so dramatically undermined a sense of global unity and inflamed world opinion as the Gaza war, which saw a much-needed break in the fighting this week with the temporary, and now extended, truce.These fissures are lasting and could destabilize a solidarity […]

Using Renewable Energy to Help Rebuild in Ukraine

THE HILL 10/04/23 By Michael Shank and US Congressman Lloyd Doggett The accelerating climate emergency demands that we seek progress wherever and whenever possible. Understanding this, the leaders of 50 Ukrainian cities and territories sent a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm (copied to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US […]