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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.
Photo Courtesy City Of Santa Barbara

December 15, 2020 SANTA BARBARA, CA – The Community Environmental Council (CEC) is proud to announce it has been selected as a 2020 Spirit of Service Climate Hero by the City of Santa Barbara for the organization’s long-standing and sustained commitment to bold climate action and to the long term resilience of the Santa Barbara community.

“CEC has been a beacon of light and hope since the first Earth Day in 1970,” said Hal Conklin, past CEC Executive Director and former Santa Barbara Mayor. “Their work empowers individuals and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, uniting our community in the fight against the climate crisis.”

“We know that ultimately leadership must come from regions like ours committing to rapid and equitable local climate action,” said Sigrid Wright, CEO of CEC. Noting that this award comes during CEC’s 50th anniversary year, Wright said “The times are calling for all of us to become climate heroes – to do twice as much, twice as fast.”

Speaking to CEC’s advocacy of strong climate goals, Santa Barbara Mayor Pro Tempore and City Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon said, “CEC has been a tireless environmental leader in Santa Barbara’s energy, resilience, and transportation sectors, and will be a key partner in helping the City achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. The leadership of CEC pushes us to be ever better stewards of our environmental future, and we are grateful.”

In 2020, at the urging of CEC and other advocates, the City of Santa Barbara joined the City of San Luis Obispo in setting one of the most ambitious climate goals in the nation: Carbon Neutrality by 2035. To ensure that the Central Coast has the tools it needs to meet these transformative climate goals, CEC plans to:

  • Continue its leadership in the energy, building and transportation sectors, while scaling up nature-based solutions to draw down carbon in the atmosphere such as carbon farming and regenerative agriculture, the only strategies that can reverse and repair climate impacts.
  • Establish a Climate Stewards training program and Youth Initiative to build a corps of climate activists and leaders who advocate for policy and build community support for action.
  • Spur equitable community action to safeguard the region from the rising threats of extreme heat, wildfire, drought, sea level rise and storms.

Last month, CEC was selected as a 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year by District 37 Assemblywoman Monique Limón. Both awards underscore CEC’s long-standing climate leadership role and its unique position to seize this pivotal moment for action with a bold plan to rapidly deploy equitable climate solutions and build regional capacity for climate action.

About the Spirit of Service Awards

Through the Spirit of Service Awards, the City of Santa Barbara’s Looking Good Santa Barbara program recognizes individuals and organizations in the community who exceed expectations by reducing waste, keeping the community clean through graffiti and litter abatement, and promoting climate action to reduce greenhouse gases. Learn more at

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