January 2021 – Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill

Beverly, MA Mayor Michael Cahill
Climate Mayors Steering Committee member

In these early days of the new year, we are heartened and energized by the Biden Administration’s urgent focus on climate change, as demonstrated through the series of Executive Orders vowing monumental action in cutting emissions. I joined the US Climate Mayors in 2017 in response to the former President’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement, and I’m incredibly excited to continue working with so many great local, state, and now Federal partners to fight climate change. 

With a population of 43,000, five train stations, 14 miles of coastline, and located twenty miles north of Boston, we are actively building Beverly’s resilience to the rising sea while doing everything we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to these changes. We’re learning as we go, and trying to take as many meaningful steps as we can to move Beverly forward on our path to net zero as a community. Here are some recent examples.

In the past decade, we have installed 7.5 MW of solar on municipal land, with 4.7 MW more to be brought online in 2021, as we seek to capture the potential of every parcel of city-owned land. As a state-designated Green Community, we’ve improved energy efficiency at most of our public buildings, and switched all our street lights to LED bulbs. This summer, our new, nearly net-zero police station will be heated and cooled by a geothermal system, with both rooftop and canopy solar arrays, bringing us one step closer to meeting our goal for clean-powered municipal operations by 2030.

We have also begun to build robust EV charging infrastructure in our municipal parking facilities, with four electric vehicle charging stations online and nine more to be installed in the next few months, including four Level 3 charging stations. We have deployed our first electric school bus with another on the way, and are in the process of launching a green municipal aggregation program to make renewable electricity accessible to all of our community members.

Understanding that this work must be scaled quickly, we have joined regional advocacy initiatives to enact statewide policy and address shared transportation challenges. The threats of climate change are shared, and so must be the solutions. We are at the midpoint of developing a joint climate action plan, called Resilient Together, in partnership with our neighboring City of Salem to realize our collective vision for a resilient and sustainable future.

Together we have set citywide carbon neutrality goals by mid-century, with community resilience, economic vitality, and natural resource protection at the forefront. As we seek to integrate climate mitigation into our everyday operations, we strive to strengthen partnerships with and demonstrate leadership to the community organizations, institutions, and utilities inside and outside our geographic bounds. 

The next decade of climate action is critical for our future, and we are more committed than ever to move boldly at every level to ensure a bright, safe, and sustainable future for our kids and grandchildren. We welcome the federal administration’s leadership to help us deliver the strong and urgent action needed across the country and the world.

Climate Mayors Announces New Chair, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner

January 28, 2021 — Today, Climate Mayors announced that Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will become the next Chair of the nationwide coalition. In this role, Mayor Turner 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 grounded in equity and environmental stewardship.

Mayor Turner succeeds Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston, who President Joseph R. Biden nominated to serve as Secretary of Labor.

“I congratulate Mayor Walsh on his appointment and thank him for his work to prioritize climate change. It is an honor to succeed him as Chair of Climate Mayors,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Cities are powerful drivers in the race against climate change. Mayors are investing in clean energy, greening our economies, and creating more sustainable and resilient communities across the U.S. The global pandemic has brought the connection between climate change and community health to the forefront of our cities and our society. With a new administration in the White House, Climate Mayors are prepared to lead swift, bold action on climate that will help our nation recover and build for a better future.”

“Mayors see firsthand how climate change is already impacting the health and wellbeing of people in our communities,” said Mayor Walsh. “Mayor Turner has long demonstrated a strong commitment to climate action, and I know that he will work to keep this at the heart of our COVID-19 recovery efforts. I congratulate him on becoming Chair of the Climate Mayors, and I look forward to seeing him advance this work forward on a national and international scale.”

Mayor Turner has been a long-standing climate champion for the City of Houston, having served as Mayor during Hurricane Harvey and enduring multiple 500-year storms in just four years. As part of the City’s recovery efforts, Mayor Turner launched Resilient Houston on February 12th, 2020, and the Houston Climate Action Plan on Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary on April 22nd, 2020. These critically important initiatives are focused on transitioning the Energy Capital of the World to a clean energy future and increasing the resilience of communities across the City, prioritizing health, job creation, equity, and sustainability.

Under Mayor Turner’s leadership, the City of Houston has committed to purchasing 100% renewable energy and is the largest municipal user of renewable energy in the nation. As part of this effort, the City recently approved the Sunnyside Solar Project – a public-private partnership to convert a 240-acre closed landfill in one of Houston’s most vulnerable communities into the largest urban solar farm in the nation. In conjunction with his Complete Communities Initiative, the project is a prime example of how cities can work with the community to address long-standing environmental justice concerns holistically, create green jobs and generate renewable energy in the process. In addition to serving as Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Turner is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Resilient Cities Network. He serves as 1st Vice President on the Board of Trustees for the African American Mayors Association.

“As we look ahead to this new year under the leadership of Mayor Turner, the Climate Mayors network expresses its deepest gratitude to Mayor Walsh for his ongoing commitment to addressing the climate emergency,” said James Ritchotte, Executive Director of Climate Mayors. “We’re honored to have Mayor Turner serve as the new Chair, knowing that he will expand the reach and impact of Climate Mayors, work closely with the new Administration committed to ambitious climate action, and drive an agenda focused on an economic recovery grounded in equity and sustainability.”

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


About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 474 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 U.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. For more information, please visit www.climatemayors.org.

Media Inquiries: James Ritchotte, jritchotte@climate-mayors.org

Climate Mayors Statement on President Biden’s Executive Order to Rejoin Paris Agreement

JANUARY 20, 2021 — Today, Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of over 470 U.S. mayors working to combat climate change through meaningful actions in their communities, issued the following statement regarding President Biden’s Executive Order to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement:

“Since 2017, when the previous administration announced its intention to leave the Paris Agreement, Climate Mayors served as a bulwark against climate complacency. Our 474 member cities have remained committed to upholding the Paris Agreement, and have taken strong actions to reduce carbon emissions and keep the United States on a path of climate progress.

“This past year, our cities were ground zero for the fourfold crisis the Biden administration intends to prioritize: the COVID-19 pandemic, a profound economic downturn, extreme climate impacts and a national reckoning with racial inequity. We are at an inflection point and, for cities, the stakes could not be higher.

“Against this urgent backdrop, Climate Mayors applaud and endorse President Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement. With the stakes so high, we are eager to collaborate with a federal administration committed to urgent, bold climate action at the national and international levels. As leaders on the ground, we keenly understand that climate action will not only protect human civilization and prevent irreparable climate disruption, but will also make American cities cleaner, healthier and more equitable.

“This announcement is only the beginning; there is still a lot of work to do. It is essential that the transition to a green energy economy is front and center in any comprehensive economic stimulus package. Climate Mayors are ready to partner immediately on accelerated climate solutions here in the U.S. and abroad. The future of our economy, our public health, and our world depend on it.”