Climate Mayors Takes COP28: Local Leaders on the Global Stage

Climate Mayors attended COP28 in Dubai, UAE, a crucial meeting of the minds to address the most pressing challenge of our time.

 

Our mayors’ participation in COP28 reflects a commitment to fostering international collaboration and knowledge exchange to accelerate climate action. By engaging with the global community, we showcased successful strategies, learned from our counterparts, and advocated for increased support and resources to make urban areas more sustainable and equitable.

Subnational governments have proven to be key in achieving national and global climate goals. Our presence at COP28 allowed us to highlight the unique opportunities and challenges in American cities, showcasing the need for tailored solutions and funding to address climate change across different urban environments. By fostering international partnerships and demonstrating the power of local leadership, U.S. mayors contribute to the broader narrative of collective, bottom-up efforts to combat the climate crisis.

We’re proud to have participated in several engaging events across the conference – lending the mayoral perspective to transformative conversations:  

  • In the Blue Zone, several member mayors spoke on the ‘Subnational Leaders Supercharging Climate Action Across America’ and ‘Bold Investment for a Brighter Future: States, Cities, and Businesses Delivering on the Promise of the Inflation Reduction Act’ panels. Alongside longtime climate leaders John Podesta and Gina McCarthy, Mayors Frank Cownie, Satya Rhodes-Conway, Andrew Ginther, and LaToya Cantrell discussed how they are progressing climate action in their communities, how they are collaborating with each other and other levels of government to get the work done and what else needs to happen to accelerate the work. 
  • Over the weekend, we convened member mayors alongside C40, America Is All In and Bloomberg Philanthropies for a working breakfast to promote cross-regional learning and local climate action.
  • Climate Mayors was also present at dozens of bilateral meetings throughout the weeks. Participating in high level convenings on topics such as multilevel action, subnational leadership, urbanization, international solutions, women in energy, LEED building certification, and transportation policy helped deepen relationships with key stakeholders and thought leaders, broaden our knowledge on multi-sectoral issues, and advocate for the role of cities in the climate fight.  
  • During the Bloomberg Philanthropies and COP28 Presidency Local Climate Action Summit (LCAS), leaders engaged in substantive conversations about concrete actions and strategies to enhance multi-level partnerships to accelerate global climate progress. 
  • At LCAS, Climate Mayors and other subnational leaders celebrated the launch of the Coalition for High Ambition Multi-Level Partnerships (CHAMP) created by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the COP28 Presidency to empower local and regional leaders in the creation and execution of ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) currently endorsed by 66 governments.

By aligning local, state, and national strategies, the U.S. mayors aim to create a more holistic and integrated approach to climate action, ultimately contributing to the global effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change and create a sustainable future for all. We look forward to carrying our learnings and this electrifying energy from the conference into our 2024 course of action. 

Signed,

Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of Madison, WI and Climate Mayors Chair

Kate Wright, Executive Director of Climate Mayors

​​PRESS RELEASE: Climate Mayors Announces its 2024 Leadership Team

Climate Mayors closes out the year by welcoming a new leadership team to drive local climate action in 2024.

December 12, 2023 — Today, Climate Mayors ushered in its new leadership team to supercharge climate action in 2024. With Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison concluding her term as Chair of the organization, Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland, Ohio will carry the torch in 2024. He will lead alongside Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona, who has held her Vice-Chair position since 2021, and new incoming Vice-Chair, Mayor Lauren McLean of Boise, Idaho. These admirable leaders have served as models for city-led climate solutions and are positioned to continue their leadership with an acute focus on environmental justice, building and fleet electrification, and public health and safety.

Climate Mayors thanks the outgoing Chair Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway for her dedication to climate action and impactful organizational leadership in 2024. Mayor Rhodes-Conway represented Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and provided the organization with a strong foundation moving into 2024 — encouraging mayors to work together to cultivate new climate solutions, implement game changing federal funding, and promote climate justice in communities across the country. 

The first millennial Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio since 2022 and Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors for the past year, Mayor Justin Bibb has worked tirelessly to advance key policy initiatives that support cities and elevate local voices at the federal level. Mayor Bibb emphasizes the crucial role of local leadership in leveraging historical federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and taking meaningful and equitable climate action in cities like Cleveland, which continue to experience climate vulnerability as a result of historic disinvestment.

With climate justice at the heart of his platform, Mayor Bibb works to represent and uplift the concerns of community members who have experienced adverse effects to health and wellbeing as a result of climate change. To ensure this remains of priority, he appointed Cleveland’s first Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice during his first year as mayor. Mayor Bibb has continued to prioritize environmental justice by advancing affordable solar energy for low and moderate-income families in the city, championing the 15-minute city framework as an economic and climate justice policy that connects communities while decreasing transportation emissions and air pollutants, and mobilizing historic federal funding to take multi-level action in order to rapidly decarbonize the Greater Cleveland region. Mayor Bibb also passed an improved Complete and Green Streets Ordinance, which calls for a restructuring of Cleveland’s roads to prioritize people over cars, and is working to reduce flooding and boost communities’ access to water and green spaces through new climate resilience proposals.

As Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Bibb has highlighted three priorities for his one-year term: 

  • Increase the recognition of Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and showcase city success stories.
  • Build up funding infrastructure for the organization.
  • Emphasize and empower regional engagement with peer mayors.
  • Ensure federal funding benefits communities of color and those most vulnerable to climate change 

“I am honored to step into the role of Climate Mayors Chair and to champion ambitious climate action for more just and sustainable cities,” said Mayor Bibb. “With this platform, I will work together with fellow Climate Mayors, the federal government, public and private institutions, and community-based organizations to leverage historic federal funding in a way that benefits communities across the country – particularly those that are most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic injustices.”

Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona has held office since 2019, serving as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors since 2020 and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities since 2021. Continuing her role as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors in 2024, Mayor Gallego emphasizes that Climate Mayors must have a strong voice in advocating for a sustained commitment to the promises made in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

“Cities have long led on the forefront of climate change solutions – and with more federal funding flowing than ever, we’re taking our commitments to new heights,” said Mayor Gallego. “I am excited to continue my role as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors to serve Phoenix and the nation at large, especially at such a pivotal time.  Together with Mayors Bibb and McLean, I am committed to leveraging the Climate Mayors network to advance people-first climate initiatives that meet the unique needs of our communities.”

As the first woman to be elected as mayor of Boise in 2019, Mayor Lauren McLean is no stranger to breaking barriers and raising ambitions. In her time as mayor, she has proved her steadfast commitment to advancing localized climate solutions – believing strongly that mayors, local governments, and tribes know best what residents and communities need to be prepared for climate impacts now and in the future.

“Climate Mayors is providing crucial guidance to city leaders across the country to access funds and pool resources and knowledge to advance meaningful climate solutions,” said Mayor McLean. “The role of local governments in creating a climate ready future for our kids and theirs cannot be understated, as we hear from our residents every day how important this work is to them. I am thrilled to join Mayors Bibb and Gallego on the leadership team and to continue this essential work for Boise and beyond.”

“It’s been an honor to serve as the Chair of such a future-forward organization that’s dedicated to helping mayors act on climate solutions,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “Cities are a critical actor in climate action, and mayors have the ambition to achieve climate goals. Organizations like Climate Mayors help grow local efforts through the exchange of ideas and tools for implementation, while also amplifying the voices of cities nationally. I’m pleased to see the progress we’ve made together in 2023, and am excited to see Climate Mayors continue to grow in the years to come.”

“Climate Mayors is thrilled to welcome these three outstanding mayors to our leadership team as they integrate their fresh and diverse perspectives into the vision of our organization,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. “With the leadership of Mayors Bibb, Gallego, and McLean we will continue to challenge ourselves to ramp up decarbonization, climate justice, and community resilience in 2024 while providing a network of support to local leaders – laying the foundation for healthier and more sustainable cities across the country.”

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About Climate Mayors

Climate Mayors is a bipartisan network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors since 2014, demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and nearly 60 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress. For more information, please visit our website and follow climate mayors on Twitter and Linkedin

For media inquiries please contact climatemayors@fgsglobal.com.

​​Climate Mayors Welcomes 2024 Leadership Team

Climate Mayors closes out the year by welcoming a new leadership team and looking ahead to key 2024 climate action priorities

December 12, 2023 – Today, Climate Mayors looked to the future as it ushered in its new leadership team and honed in on new pathways to supercharge climate action in 2024. With Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison concluding her term as Chair of the organization, Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland, Ohio will take over as Chair for the 2024 year. Having served as Vice-Chair in 2023, he will continue to build his climate legacy as a strong advocate for elevating local climate leadership. Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona, who has held her Vice-Chair position since 2021, and new incoming Vice-Chair, Mayor Lauren McLean of Boise, Idaho will round out the Climate Mayors leadership team. 

Over the past year, cities have begun to feel the transformative impacts of federal investments like the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 2024 will be another crucial year to further accelerate climate action, with no time left to waste in implementing ambitious plans to reduce emissions and build more climate-resilient communities across the country. These admirable leaders have served as models for city-led solutions to the climate crisis, and are positioned to continue their leadership with an acute focus on issues such as environmental justice, building and fleet electrification, and public health and safety over the next year.

The first millennial Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Mayor Justin Bibb has served as mayor since 2022. As Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors for the past year, Mayor Bibb has worked tirelessly to advance key policy initiatives that support cities and elevate local voices at the federal level. Mayor Bibb has emphasized the crucial role of local leadership in leveraging historical federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and taking meaningful and equitable climate action in cities like Cleveland, which continue to experience climate vulnerability as a result of historic disinvestment.

As an elected leader devoted to advancing racial, social, and health equity in his hometown, Bibb has highlighted the importance of public-private collaboration and maintained strong ties to community-based organizations focused on achieving the change that Cleveland communities want and need to see in their city. 

With climate justice at the heart of his platform, Mayor Bibb works to represent and uplift the concerns of community members who have experienced adverse effects to health and wellbeing as a result of climate change. To ensure this remains of priority, he appointed Cleveland’s first Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice during his first year as mayor. Mayor Bibb has continued to prioritize environmental justice by advancing affordable solar energy for low and moderate-income families in the city, championing the 15-minute city framework as an economic and climate justice policy that connects communities while decreasing transportation emissions and air pollutants, and mobilizing historic federal funding to take multi-level action in order to rapidly decarbonize the Greater Cleveland region. Mayor Bibb also passed an improved Complete and Green Streets Ordinance, which calls for a restructuring of Cleveland’s roads to prioritize people over cars, and is working to reduce flooding and boost communities’ access to water and green spaces through new climate resilience proposals.

As Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Bibb has highlighted three priorities for his one-year term: 

  1. Increase the recognition of Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and showcasing city success stories
  2. Build up funding infrastructure for the organization
  3. Emphasize and empower regional engagement with peer mayors
  4. Ensure federal funding benefits communities of color and those most vulnerable to climate change 

“I am honored to step into the role of Climate Mayors Chair and to continue to champion ambitious climate action for more just and sustainable cities,” said Mayor Bibb. “With this platform, I will work together with fellow Climate Mayors, the federal government, public and private institutions, and community-based organizations to leverage historic federal funding in a way that benefits communities across the country – particularly those that are most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic injustices.”

Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona has held office since 2019, serving as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors since 2020 and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities since 2021. Continuing her role as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors in 2024, Mayor Gallego emphasizes that climate action must be prioritized in local, state, and federal elections and that Climate Mayors must have a strong voice in advocating for a sustained commitment to the promises made in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

On the local level, Mayor Gallego aims to make Phoenix the most sustainable desert city on the planet – and that means tackling the dual challenge of heat and water. Phoenix was the first city in the country to take the American Forests’ Tree Equity Pledge in 2021, a commitment that all neighborhoods achieve a standard of shade cover by 2030. Under Gallego’s leadership, Phoenix established the first publicly funded Office of Heat Response and Mitigation in the nation to drive innovative strategies for a cooler, more comfortable city.  

Additionally, new water conservation policies and regional working groups aim to build common ground among Western mayors and local officials to uplift conservation successes that demonstrate a shared commitment to reducing dependence on the strained Colorado River. Phoenix is instituting conservation measures at all scales – from Sustainable Desert Development policies that significantly reduce water use in new construction, to incentivizing residents to adopt native desert vegetation and efficient appliances. 

Going into her 3rd year as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Gallego has identified three key priorities for 2024: 

  1. Sustain commitments of Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and highlighting local implementation success stories
  2. Continue to uplift and support the efforts of the Western Water Security regional working group
  3. Expand meaningful engagement opportunities for Climate Mayors members

“Cities have long led on the forefront of climate change solutions – and with more federal funding flowing than ever, we’re taking our commitments to new heights,” said Mayor Gallego. “I am excited to continue my role as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors to serve Phoenix and the nation at large, especially at such a pivotal time.  Together with Mayors Bibb and McLean, I am committed to leveraging the Climate Mayors network to advance people-first climate initiatives that meet the unique needs of our communities.”

In 2019, Lauren McLean became the first woman to be elected Mayor of Boise. In her time as mayor, she has proved her steadfast commitment to advancing localized climate solutions – believing strongly that mayors, local governments, and tribes know best what residents and communities need to be prepared for climate impacts now and in the future.

Mayor McLean has seen the worsening climate impacts first hand in Boise. Last summer, the city experienced its second hottest summer, with nearly twice as many days over 100 degrees than 30 years ago. But under McLean’s leadership, the city has fought climate change ambitiously — especially through the city’s goal to be powered by 100% clean electricity for its government operations by 2030, which Boise is on track to meet five to six years early

In 2021, Mayor McLean joined The America the Beautiful initiative, a coalition of 70 mayors committed to conserving 30 percent of American lands by 2030. McLean has worked to build out Boise’s program to protect 30 percent of open space and parks – specifically with the plan to double the city’s tree canopy. And looking to future generations, mayor McLean launched the Youth Climate Action Council, which unites young people from across Boise to take action on climate issues with creative projects. 

As incoming Vice-Chair, Mayor McLean highlighted 2 key priorities for the 2024 year:

  1. Ensure that crucial funds for climate action flow directly to cities, particularly for those in traditionally red states.
  2. Cultivate new ways for Climate Mayors to connect and leverage expertise between member cities, and continue empowering cities to advance climate priorities.

“Climate Mayors is providing crucial guidance to city leaders across the country to access funds and pool resources and knowledge to advance meaningful climate solutions,” said Mayor McLean. “The role of local governments in creating a climate ready future for our kids and theirs cannot be understated, as we hear from our residents every day how important this work is to them. I am thrilled to join Mayors Bibb and Gallego on the leadership team and to continue this essential work for Boise and beyond.”

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For media inquiries please contact climatemayors@fgsglobal.com 

Climate Mayors Announces New Chair, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb

At a virtual convening today, Climate Mayors announced their new Chair to drive local climate action in 2024

December 12, 2023 – Today, Climate Mayors looked to the future as it ushered in its new leadership team and honed in on new pathways to supercharge climate action in 2024. With Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison concluding term as Chair of the organization, Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland, Ohio will take over as Chair for the 2024 year. Having served as Vice-Chair in 2023, he will continue to build his climate legacy as a strong advocate for elevating local climate leadership. Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona, who has held her Vice-Chair position since 2021, and new incoming Vice-Chair, Mayor Lauren McLean of Boise, Idaho will round out the Climate Mayors leadership team. 

The first millennial Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Mayor Justin Bibb has served as mayor since 2022. As Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors for the past year, Mayor Bibb has worked tirelessly to advance key policy initiatives that support cities and elevate local voices at the federal level. Mayor Bibb has emphasized the crucial role of local leadership in leveraging historical federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and taking meaningful and equitable climate action in cities like Cleveland, which continue to experience climate vulnerability as a result of historic disinvestment.

As an elected leader devoted to advancing racial, social, and health equity in his hometown, Bibb has highlighted the importance of public-private collaboration and maintained strong ties to community-based organizations focused on achieving the change that Cleveland communities want and need to see in their city. 

With climate justice at the heart of his platform, Mayor Bibb works to represent and uplift the concerns of community members who have experienced adverse effects to health and wellbeing as a result of climate change. To ensure this remains of priority, he appointed Cleveland’s first Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice during his first year as mayor. Mayor Bibb has continued to prioritize environmental justice by advancing affordable solar energy for low and moderate-income families in the city, championing the 15-minute city framework as an economic and climate justice policy that connects communities while decreasing transportation emissions and air pollutants, and mobilizing historic federal funding to take multi-level action in order to rapidly decarbonize the Greater Cleveland region. Mayor Bibb also passed an improved Complete and Green Streets Ordinance, which calls for a restructuring of Cleveland’s roads to prioritize people over cars, and is working to reduce flooding and boost communities’ access to water and green spaces through new climate resilience proposals.

Having such robust experience in implementing policies and projects, Mayor Bibb is sure to contribute to the momentum and scale of fellow Climate Mayors’ climate ambitions during his term.

As Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Bibb has highlighted three priorities for his one-year term: 

  1. Increase the recognition of Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and showcasing city success stories
  2. Build up funding infrastructure for the organization
  3. Emphasize and empower regional engagement with peer mayors
  4. Ensure federal funding benefits communities of color and those most vulnerable to climate change 

The Climate Mayors is proud to welcome the leadership and innovation of Mayor Bibb as the youngest Chair of our organization. As the world inches closer to reaching irreversible climate tipping points, we acknowledge that there is no time to waste. We must meet the moment and address the climate crisis with urgency and tact – that work continues today. 

“I am honored to step into the role of Climate Mayors Chair and to continue to champion ambitious climate action for more just and sustainable cities,” said Mayor Bibb. “With this platform, I will work together with fellow Climate Mayors, the federal government, public and private institutions, and community-based organizations to leverage historic federal funding in a way that benefits communities across the country – particularly those that are most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic injustices.”

“Cities have long led on the forefront of climate change solutions – and with more federal funding flowing than ever, we’re taking our commitments to new heights,” said Mayor Gallego. “I am excited to continue my role as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors to serve Phoenix and the nation at large, especially at such a pivotal time.  Together with Mayors Bibb and McLean, I am committed to leveraging the Climate Mayors network to advance people-first climate initiatives that meet the unique needs of our communities.”

“Climate Mayors is providing crucial guidance to city leaders across the country to access funds and pool resources and knowledge to advance meaningful climate solutions,” said Mayor McLean. “The role of local governments in creating a climate ready future for our kids and theirs cannot be understated, as we hear from our residents every day how important this work is to them. I am thrilled to join Mayors Bibb and Gallego on the leadership team and to continue this essential work for Boise and beyond.”

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For media inquiries please contact climatemayors@fgsglobal.com




 

Climate Mayors Celebrates Outgoing Chair Mayor Satya Rhodes–Conway

Mayor Rhodes-Conway ends her term as Chair after driving organization-wide progress and climate solutions in 2023

December 12, 2023 – Today Climate Mayors celebrates its 2023 Chair, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, WI for her dedication and leadership.

She led the organization through a year of historic funding wins and groundbreaking projects, programs, and initiatives. From driving decarbonization initiatives on the home front in Wisconsin to letting her voice be heard in national opinion pieces, webinars, and interviews, our Chair always kept the climate mission front and center in her work as mayor – leading by example.

Climate Mayors thanks Mayor Rhodes-Conway for her dedication and the resulting growth of the organization. She provided the organization with a strong foundation to continue our work into 2024 as we help cities reach their climate targets, encourage mayors to work together to cultivate new solutions, implement game changing federal funding and promote climate justice in communities across the country.

Mayor Rhodes-Conway’s leadership highlights with Climate Mayors include:

  • Built connections between mayors and the organization to strengthen the value of the mayoral network and provide more mayors with helpful guidance and tools related to federal programs and climate action.
  • Invited to provide plenary remarks at the White House Summit on Building Climate-Resilient Communities to celebrate the local leaders nationwide that are helping drive us toward a more healthy, equitable and resilient future.
  • Represented Climate Mayors on the global stage at COP28 and championed for subnational and national collaboration and cooperation.
  • Represented Climate Mayors in meetings with federal officials, the private sector, and other climate organizations during New York Climate Week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and countless webinars, workshops, and panel discussions.
  • Called for protection of key climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act in a national op-ed.
  • Helped organize mayoral interaction with federal leaders, including numerous sign on letters urging Congress and the Administration to lead on climate issues. 

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 For media inquiries please contact climatemayors@fgsglobal.com