Climate Mayors Announces New Chair, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Climate Mayors Announces New Chair, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh 

Mayor Walsh previously served as Co-Chair of the network since its launch in 2014

Outgoing Chair Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti remains in Climate Mayors’ leadership as a member of its Steering Committee  

November 16, 2020 — Today, Climate Mayors, the network of 468 U.S. mayors across the country committed to leading bold climate action and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement, announced that Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will become the next Chair of the nationwide coalition. In this role, Mayor Walsh will help catalyze climate-forward actions taken at the local level, provide an example of climate action for leaders at all levels of government, and advocate for an economic recovery founded in equity and environmental stewardship. Mayor Walsh succeeds Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, co-founder of Climate Mayors, who has served as the network’s Chair since its launch in 2014. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will continue in his leadership role as Co-Chair of the network.

Mayor Walsh has been a climate champion for Boston and has made bold climate action a top priority since beginning his term in 2014. The City of Boston’s 2019 update to the Climate Action Plan outlined a five year roadmap to accelerate action towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and put Boston on track to meet the goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Boston continues to build a successful track record of driving down emissions while simultaneously preparing for sea level rise, extreme temperatures and storms. In each year of his tenure so far, Boston has ranked among the top two cities in the country for energy efficiency by the American Council on an Energy-Efficient Economy. The City is implementing solutions to make Boston’s most vulnerable communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change through Climate Ready Boston and Resilient Boston Harbor, a comprehensive and transformative vision to increase access and open space along Boston’s 47 mile shoreline while better protecting the city during a major flooding event.

“I’m very proud to be named Chair of the Climate Mayors,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “As Mayors, we’re close to the people we serve. We see how climate change is already impacting the residents in our cities, and we know how important it is for us to take decisive action for the sake of public safety and public health. American cities have led on climate action for a long time, and especially over the last four years. As we welcome in a federal administration committed to urgent, bold climate policies, the Climate Mayors are looking forward to accelerating our efforts.”

“Mayors see the impacts of climate change firsthand, and we are always first to propose, develop, and implement solutions to this existential challenge,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Cities will never shirk their responsibility to preserve our environment, invest in clean energy, and protect the health of our communities — and there is no one better than Mayor Walsh to carry forward our agenda, uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement, forge a future of sustainability, and deliver a green economy that works for everyone.”

“The COVID19 pandemic has strengthened the connection between climate change and community health, especially in our most vulnerable communities. Now more than ever before, a clean energy transition — driven by cities — is key to global economic recovery,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Over the past four years, Climate Mayors have stepped up to fill the gap when the federal government turned its back on climate action. The City of Houston – the Energy Capital of the World – stands ready to take immediate, bold action to reduce emissions in our city and build a low-carbon economy that can fuel cities across the planet. Mayor Walsh has made environmental justice and climate action a priority for Boston, and I look forward to working alongside him to make the US a leader in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions.”

“Since founding Climate Mayors in 2014, Mayor Garcetti has helped shape Climate Mayors into a robust, engaged network of more than 450 members and cemented it as a leading voice in climate advocacy,” said James Ritchotte, Director of Climate Mayors. “As we look ahead to this new phase under the leadership of Mayor Walsh, the Climate Mayors network expresses its deepest gratitude to Mayor Garcetti for galvanizing our membership and for his commitment to addressing the climate emergency. We’re honored to have Mayor Walsh serve as the new Chair, knowing that he will expand on this legacy, and drive an ambitious agenda focused on a green and equitable recovery across the country.” 

Since being elected Mayor in 2013, Mayor Eric Garcetti has dedicated his tenure to making Los Angeles a global leader in climate action and catalyzing more climate action across the world. At the time he co-founded Climate Mayors in 2014, the network consisted of 24 members — in the six years since, Mayor Garcetti helped the network swell to 468 members across 48 states. As Chair of Climate Mayors, he long set an example for other members to follow and helped grow the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle (EV) Purchasing Collaborative from 20 founding cities and two counties to where it stands today: 231 cities, counties, ports, universities and transit agencies committed to purchasing nearly 4,000 light duty EVs and buses. Last year, Mayor Garcetti launched Los Angeles’ Green New Deal — an ambitious update to the city’s first-ever Sustainable City pLAn — which serves as a comprehensive roadmap to protect the environment, strengthen the economy and build a more equitable future. He has put the city on track to a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Mayor Garcetti will remain in Climate Mayors leadership as a member of its Steering Committee. In 2019, Mayor Garcetti became Chair of C40 Cities, the international network of global cities committed to addressing climate change. As a leader with both Climate Mayors and C40, Mayor Garcetti will continue to foster close collaboration and partnership between the two networks.

Climate Mayors and its work to accelerate local climate progress across the country is made possible with support by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

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About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 468 U.S. city mayors who have committed to fighting climate change. Originally founded in 2014, the network’s ranks swelled to almost 400 mayors in response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Climate Mayors commit to taking ambitious action to meet each of their cities’ current climate goals, while working together towards achieving our national Paris targets. Climate Mayors was founded by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and is Chaired by Martin J. Walsh (Boston) and Co-Chaired by Sylvester Turner (Houston). For more information, please visit www.climatemayors.org.

Media Inquiries: Melody Meyer, mmeyer@bpimedia.com; Grace Hemming, ghemming@bpimedia.com