The Proclamation Challenge

Is your town in the Race to Zero Carbon? Invite your Mayor to make a formal Proclamation.

chat Posted May 01, 2016 by Rezwan | Category : Formalizing
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Do you want to turn the Race to Zero Carbon into a national pastime and win it? The race is already in progress, but to formalize it, each State will need to officially declare it is in the race.

And to truly become a national pastime, we need the whole nation into it: A majority of citizens to pledge they are in the race, each borough, town, city and legislative district to proclaim it is in the race.

Are you in it to win it? Pledge here. Then invite your town to make the proclamation! Sign up for the Proclamation Challenge here!

Who Is Already In the Race?

I am thrilled to announce that the 16th Legislative District and the Boroughs of South Bound Brook and Bound Brook have proclaimed they are in the Race to Zero Carbon. Also,  Senator Cory Booker has expressed his support of the adventure in progress.

Fun fact: The idea for the Race to Zero Carbon came to me while living in South Bound Brook, and was inspired by the Battle of Bound Brook. Here’s more about how the Race to Zero Carbon is the ultimate act of historic preservation.

Officials from the Boroughs read their Proclamations at the first ever Race to Zero Carbon event at Duke Island Park in Bridgewater, NJ on May 21, 2016.

Now it’s your turn to add your town and district to the Roll Call!


It’s not hard to get a proclamation. You just need to ask! Sign up for our Proclamation Challenge and we will send you a Toolkit with step by step instructions in your inbox. Can’t wait for the instructions? Get a sneak peek at the Proclamation Template here.

Proclamation Template

Below is the template which can be modified with your local information.

Feel free to download the Proclamation as a word document


[MY TOWN] Declaration to win the Race to Net Zero Carbon

for over fifty years, scientists have known that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other green house gases (measured in CO2 equivalents) from burning fossil fuels and other practices could cause global warming and dangerous climate change, and that continuing these practices would destabilize the climate system on which present and future generations of our city, our nation and our planet depend for their wellbeing and survival; and

WHEREAS, some states have been decarbonizing faster than others; that as of 2013, New York State has the lowest emissions of any state at 8.1 metric tons of CO2 per person, while New Jersey is in 13th place with 11.8 metric tons per person and the national average is 16.7 metric tons per person and Wyoming is dead last with 117.3 metric tons per person; and

The Race to Zero Carbon is on. At stake in this race are the peace and prosperity of humankind, the ecological vitality of our planet and our classification as an “intelligent species” worthy of a planet. The rules are simple. The first state to achieve a net zero carbon economy with the best quality of life, wins. We’re all going to get to zero – but one state is going to get there FIRST; and

the present and future citizens of [MY TOWN] have a fundamental constitutional right to life, liberty, property and public trust resources; and

the citizens of [MY TOWN] are remarkable and capable and can take the lead in moving New Jersey to win the race to zero carbon;

NOW THEREFORE, We, the Council and Mayor of [MY TOWN], New Jersey do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of [MY TOWN], solemnly publish and declare, that [MY TOWN] is officially enjoined in the Race to Zero Carbon.

PROCLAIMED this twenty first day of May, 2016.



About the Language

A big thank you to Our Children’s Trust for inspiring some of the language of this proclamation.

By design, this Proclamation does not restrict your city to specific solutions or time frames. It is a relative document which allows for the flexibility, creativity and character of each town to find expression. This also helps to make it a trans-partisan document.

No solution restriction:
The goal of the Race to Zero Carbon is a “net zero carbon economy” rather than “100% renewable”. Folks are welcome to achieve net zero through 100% renewables, but won’t be disqualified for achieving it by other means. We are open to red state solutions, blue state solutions, wild card solutions.

No time restriction: there is no set time to achieve net zero carbon - you just need to pull together to achieve it FIRST before the other States. Instead of putting things off to some deadline in the future, the goal is to get people to make things happen as quickly as possible. Do it now, do it first, and do it best.

Quality of Life qualifier: If your strategy to get to zero carbon involves making everyone suffer - you won’t win. The winning State will pull off a zero carbon economy with an upgrade in everyone’s quality of life. How is that possible? Find out more at the Zero Carbon Coaching Clinic.

Why “Whereas”? Why do Proclamations have the word “Whereas” in them?

It’s tradition. The use of this word goes back to the 1500s.

Per the Legal Dictionary, “In the law the term whereas also is used as the introductory word to a recital in a formal document. A recital contains words of introduction to a contract, statute, proclamation, or other writing. Finally, whereas is often used in official proclamations to project the solemnity of the occasion.”

Are you in? Is your borough, city, township, municipality, county and state in? Talk to your representatives and ask them to formally enjoin the Race to Zero Carbon. Join the roll call. Bonus Social Media points, record the reading of the proclamation and post on Social Media with #RacetoZeroCarbon #Proclamation

See you at the races.

Notes & Related:

Note: Proclamation image above from Click Americana.

Zero Carbon Coaching Clinic, May 21
The Dark Prize

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