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To support the Charleston Climate Action Plan, CCC is mobilizing the Lowcountry to contact Charleston City Council and the Mayor in support of more environmental staff and project funding in the next budget.


Background: In May 2021, the City of Charleston passed their Climate Action Plan, with a host of initiatives to lower climate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Over a year later, we haven’t seen as much progress on the CAP as we’d like. This is due in large part to limited staff and investment from the City. The Sustainability Office has just one person, and projects need stewardship and stafftime to progress. That's where you come in – you can reach out to decisionmakers and ensure that the CAP gets the staff and funding it needs to succeed.


How you can get involved: Let the Mayor and your councilmember know you support the Climate Action budget items! You can email and/or call, asking them to champion climate-friendly provisions in the budget. Even more effective is a meeting – reach out to set up a Zoom and talk through your ask, perhaps with a few neighbors. What really matters is that you find a way to add your voice to the call for funding.


Don’t know who your councilmember is? You can look them up here: by clicking the additional layers and city council district boxes on the left. 


You can contact for coaching, but the key points are simple:


  • Climate action matters to me and I’d like the City to fund it next year.

  • We need more staff to implement climate action, so please fund a Sustainability & Resilience Grant Writer and a Communication and Community Engagement Manager.

  • We need more funding for projects, so please fund the compost program expansion, EV charging stations, a City tree survey, and a weatherization pilot program.


If you’re not a City of Charleston resident, you can still get involved! Email the Mayor at and/or call his office at 843-577-6970. He has a lot of power over the budget. Remember, you have a right to weigh in – what happens in Charleston affects all of us Lowcountry residents.


The City’s decision makers have many factors to consider every budget cycle, and without citizen input, they won’t prioritize climate action. But when they hear from a wave of people that this is a priority, they pay attention.


The Budget Asks



It is crucial that we get more staff capacity for climate action with the City; projects don’t happen without people to facilitate them.


Sustainability & Resilience Grant Writer - $70k a year

  • Would expand the capacity and the reach of the City’s Sustainability arm massively.

  • With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, a lot of federal climate action funding will be coming down the pike; the City needs someone to take advantage of that.

  • Grant writers often pay for themselves; fiscally responsible.


Communication and Community Engagement Manager - $60k a year

  • Climate action on the collective, community level can be very effective, and this position would focus on that.

  • Would expand capacity of Sustainability Director Katie McKain to not be in charge of outreach efforts; would lead to stewardship of more climate action projects.




Compost Program Expansion

$20,000 to expand the City’s successful compost dropoff program to new locations

  • Food waste is a big greenhouse gas contributor, and Charlestonians have taken very well to the new program; expanding it is a no-brainer.



$67,650 to pilot weatherization and home repair for Charleston homes

  • Low-income households deal with huge energy bills, bad temperature control, mold, vulnerability to extreme weather, and more when their homes aren’t weatherized.

  • By fixing sealant, insulation, etc. can massively decrease the energy burden of these homes.

  • Need is huge in underserved areas of Charleston; many are living in unjust conditions.

  • Can look to the new County critical home repair and weatherization program for an example.

  • These funds would cover a 10 home pilot project.

  • (Unlike other items on this list, this has not been officially requested by a City department; however, we believe the need is high enough to push for it anyway.)


EV Charging Expansion 

$70,000 for ten charging stations in City parking

  • Forward-thinking; EV demand is on the rise.

  • Making EV travel easier facilitates a very important transition off of fossil fuels.


Tree Survey

$400,000 for comprehensive tree survey of species, age, health, etc.

  • Without this data, there’s no way of knowing the vulnerability of Charleston trees due to monospecies, old age, poor health, etc.

  • Value of Charleston’s trees is priceless, between beautification, heat reduction, flooding mitigation, carbon sequestration, etc.; this “check-up” is insurance on that.

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