The William J. Clinton Foundation has announced a new partnership between the Clinton Climate Initiative and the state of Arkansas that aims to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the state through retrofit programs.
The partnership will work to develop regulations and guidelines to help make state buildings and work practices more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, with the goal of reducing any environmental harm caused by state government operations and creating opportunities to save taxpayer dollars through more efficient energy use. Arkansas already has seen successes on the local level in energy-efficient building and operating practices that can be replicated throughout the state. For instance, two new LEED-certified schools in the Bryant School District saw a combined $75,000 in energy savings in 2007.
The partnership is the result of a project spearheaded by University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service student J.D. Lowery, who recognized the overlap during his international public-service work in Australia between Arkansas's environmental issues and policies and CCI's work in that country.
"While urban areas account for more than three-quarters of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions, we need to work with rural states like Arkansas to make a difference in the fight against climate change in practical, measurable, and significant ways," said the former president. "Through the leadership of [Arkansas] Governor Beebe and with the help of CCI, I'm confident that Arkansas will set an example for the rest of the country and the world."