February 2021 – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
Climate Mayors Steering Committee member

The last year has been extraordinarily challenging. In the face of a global pandemic, a seismic economic downturn, a reckoning with racial injustice, and the ongoing threat of climate change, cities across the country are under enormous pressure. Throughout this time Climate Mayors have called for a “green and equitable recovery,” issuing a letter to Congress in July and launching a National Dialogue series that same month, the first event of which focused on the Southeast. The message has been straightforward – cities are committed to taking ambitious action on climate change, but they need a constructive federal partner to fully realize and expand their efforts.

That partner now exists in the White House. Since taking office, President Biden has returned the United States to the Paris Agreement, and has issued a series of executive orders articulating his whole-of-government approach, one grounded in equity and sustainability. I can remember when the Climate Mayors network began in 2014, as we were organizing for COP21 and the Paris Climate Agreement, and it’s truly amazing to see over 470 cities actively demonstrating climate leadership and advancing solutions in our cities today. Climate Mayors is in an incredible position to partner with the new Administration, and drive ambitious, equitable climate solutions at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The City of Orlando started our sustainability journey almost 15 years ago by launching our Green Works Orlando initiative in 2007, which has now evolved into a permanent Office of Sustainability and Resilience. Since the launch of Green Works, our strategy has focused heavily on decreasing carbon emissions by reducing energy use in buildings through energy-efficiency policies and programs; ramping up renewable energy, including utility-scale solar farms, rooftop solar projects, and floating solar on our retention ponds; improving public transit and micromobility through bus rapid transit (BRT), commuter trains, and a network of bike and scooter trails; and electrifying our municipal fleets and buses, and enabling EVs for consumers and visitors.

Through these interventions, Orlando has seen a 19-percent reduction in our GHG emissions from 2007 levels – and almost double from a per capita standpoint – while continuing to grow our economy in a steady way. But our work has only begun, and the next decade of action will be essential to achieving our community goals.

Last year, during the most disruptive crisis in modern history with COVID-19, we decided to continue with, and to double-down on, our commitment to sustainability and climate action. We believe the health of our environment, our community, and our economy are intrinsically linked. And we know that our sustainability programs are getting us closer to a future that is healthier, more prosperous, and more resilient to future shocks.

With that in mind, we have kept our ambitious agenda moving forward by installing four new rooftop solar projects on fire stations to enhance resilience and reduce operational expenses; implementing a new Green Building Incentive Program to encourage new development to build healthier, greener buildings for the community; expanding the number of new Level 2 EV charging stations to city parks, neighborhood centers, and parking facilities; unveiling our first fleet of zero-emission electric buses in our downtown, with 14 that will be in operation by the end of the year; and becoming a recognized LEED Gold City by the USGBC.

From a climate perspective, I’m proud of the commitments of our municipal electric and water utility, the Orlando Utility Commission (OUC), who finished an 18-month integrated resources plan to forecast the future of Orlando’s electric grid. After considerable community and stakeholder engagement, as well as alignment with the City’s climate goals, the OUC unanimously approved a plan to reach net-zero carbon without offsets by 2050, with intermediate targets of 50 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2040; retire the last two coal plants by 2027 – earlier than originally planned – with considerable reduction of coal in 2025; and commit to strictly solar, energy storage, and energy efficiency from now to 2050.

Lastly, I think it’s important that we realize that the global pandemic has hit communities of color and low-income families the hardest – the same residents and neighborhoods who suffer most from the effects of climate change, including dangerous emissions, energy burdens, skyrocketing temperatures, and extreme weather events like hurricanes. Last month, in an effort to address these disparities, I appointed the City’s first Equity Official to support us in our journey to ensure that as we advance sustainability and climate solutions, we do so in a way that focuses on equity and inclusion.

We’ve made great progress to date but have much more work to do. I’m proud that the Climate Mayors are determined to build a strong, green, and equitable economy that ensures all Americans are prepared for future health, economic, and environmental shocks.

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.

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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, in Partnership With World Resources Institute, Hosts Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell for Dialogue About a Sustainable and Just Economic Recovery

The livestream panel was the fifth in the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, and focused on how the federal government can support and accelerate climate policies that have been successful in cities around the country 

Watch the full discussion HERE.

November 17, 2020 – Today, Climate Mayors Chair Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Steering Committee Member New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and U.S. Director of World Resources Institute (WRI) Dan Lashof participated in a panel discussion as part of the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery. The discussion focused on climate action needed at all levels of government during COVID-19 and the future of U.S. climate policy.

Today’s conversation was the fifth in a Climate Mayors event series advocating for national leadership to prioritize recovery policies that are environmentally sustainable and socially just in the time of COVID-19, and the first in the series to discuss the future of U.S. climate action in the wake of the presidential election. The discussion was moderated by Justin Worland, senior correspondent for TIME Magazine covering climate change and the environment.

“There are many parallels between the COVID-19 crisis and the climate crisis,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “COVID-19 has made it clear how important it is that we plan for the future; listen to the scientists; and make sustainability a fundamental value of our society. It’s also shown us how important it is for us to work together. Our national recovery from COVID-19 must be rooted in green, equitable solutions that create opportunities for populations that have been hit hardest by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism. Cities have long been leaders in this work, and will continue to do so through coalitions like the Climate Mayors. Today’s discussion was an opportunity to discuss our shared goals moving forward, and I look forward to leading many more of these conversations in the months ahead, as the Climate Mayors’ new Chair.”

“As we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic and with climate change, our cities have been at the forefront of the impacts, and the needs far exceed the resources available,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Both ongoing crises demand equitable solutions across the board, and we need leadership with a plan to address them. This is why conversations across different areas and sectors will be critical in developing future-oriented solutions for an equitable and green recovery.”

“For the last 4 years climate leadership in the United States has, of necessity, come from cities, states, and companies,” said Dan Lashof, U.S. Director of World Resources Institute. “With an incoming federal administration committed to build back better from COVID-19 by prioritizing climate action, leadership from Climate Mayors will remain essential to tackling the climate crisis at the pace and scale required by science and expected by citizens and the international community.”

Mayors and their partners highlighted how environmental initiatives stimulate local economies, create jobs, improve public health, and reduce carbon emissions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants also discussed the ways that sustainability policies can prioritize frontline communities and communities of color that are more likely to be affected by pollution and the negative impacts of climate change.

“As we usher in an administration committed to upholding the Paris Agreement and reversing the current administration’s harmful environmental rollbacks, we must not lose sight of our call to action for a just and sustainable economic recovery,” said James Ritchotte, Director of Climate Mayors. “A green economic stimulus isn’t just an investment in our planet — it’s an investment in our economy, our public health, and the long-term prosperity of our country. This year, mayors across the country have shown leadership on the frontlines of the climate crisis, the racial justice crisis, the economic crisis and the public health crisis. And as we prepare for a new year and a new administration, Climate Mayors are eager to partner with the federal government on solutions that build resilience and address all of these crises simultaneously.”

Earlier events in the series featured Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, and U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (watch the Southeast event here); Texas leaders Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg (watch the Texas event here); Great Lakes leaders Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (listen to the full Great Lakes event here); and Ohio Valley leaders Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, and Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown (watch the Ohio Valley event here).

For more Information on the Climate Mayors network, please visit www.climatemayors.org.

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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, visit www.climatemayors.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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

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

Climate Mayors, in Partnership With the University of Pittsburgh, Hosts Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, and Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown for Dialogue About a Sustainable and Just Economic Recovery

The livestream panel was the fourth in the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, an event series running through the fall with leaders in different regions across the U.S.

Watch the full discussion HERE.

October 2, 2020 – Yesterday, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown participated in a panel discussion as part of the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery. The event convened like-minded institutions, partners, and policy makers for a discussion about successful climate initiatives in the Ohio Valley and ways that the panelists have collaborated to advance climate action both locally and nationally.

Yesterday’s conversation was the fourth in a Climate Mayors event series advocating for national leadership to prioritize recovery policies that are environmentally sustainable and socially just in the time of COVID-19. The discussion was moderated by CB Bhattacharya, H.J. Zoffer Chair in Sustainability and Ethics at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. Climate Mayors convened this event in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business.

“It is increasingly clear that we need to develop the resources and capacity to rebuild the communities that built America and the people that live in them. Fostering a just and sustainable clean energy transition is imperative,” said Climate Mayors Steering Committee member Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “We are losing time in competitive challenges between regions and countries to address the climate challenge, to develop the next generation technologies and invest in our infrastructure. We need to create an American Marshall Plan that leverages our financial capacity to create clean energy jobs. I am proud to join together with my fellow mayors to help shape and share this vision.”

“The City of Dayton is committed to move our community forward in a green and resilient direction. We will work to ensure that Dayton plans and executes our future activities in a way that acknowledges the need to reduce carbon emissions, be efficient in our energy consumption, and reverses environmental injustices,” said Climate Mayors member Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “Our new Sustainability Strategy promises a high quality of life and a healthy economy for our residents, businesses, institutions, and nonprofits in the future.”

“Cincinnati has laid the groundwork to construct the nation’s largest municipally-owned solar array that will take city administrative buildings off the grid and save our taxpayers money,” said Climate Mayors member Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. “A cost-saving that will be critical as we continue to navigate the economic impact of COVID-19. Additionally, we have added a Climate Advisor to our Sustainability team to help build programs that address racial equity and energy-burden issues facing our city in light of the changes happening during the pandemic. As environmental stewards asking our residents and business owners to be more carbon-conscious, it is our job to lead that effort at the local level. Cincinnati’s sustainability team is already leading with the economy in mind, and our future is already better for it.”

“The City of Youngstown has begun to focus our efforts on dealing with our environment and preserving the future of our community,” said Climate Mayors member Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown. “We have begun a plan to reduce the carbon emissions by installing electric charging stations around the city, focusing on the uses of autonomous electric power public transportation and upgrading our street lights to LED lighting. The greater impact I can make today as Mayor will create a better future for my children and grandchildren.”

The next event in the Climate Mayors series will be a nationally-focused discussion later this fall. Mayors and their partners will highlight how environmental initiatives can help stimulate local economies, create jobs, improve public health, and reduce carbon emissions in the wake of COVID-19. They will also discuss the ways that their sustainability policies prioritize frontline communities and communities of color, who are more likely to be affected by pollution and the negative impacts of climate change.

“Over the past six months, mayors have been tasked with responding to a convergence of crises — COVID-19 and its economic fallout, climate change and the disasters it creates, and the racial inequity that’s been laid bare in our systems. Climate Mayors in the Ohio Valley and across the nation understand that our country needs a sustainable and equitable economic plan to properly recover from the turmoil and uncertainty of the past year,” said James Ritchotte, Director of Climate Mayors. “The leadership exemplified by Climate Mayors throughout the country, and paired with meaningful support from our federal government to implement these actions on a larger scale, will help launch this nation into a greener, more just future.”

Earlier events in the series featured Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, and US Representative Kathy Castor, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis; (watch the Southeast event here) Texas leaders Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg; (watch the Texas event here) and Great Lakes leaders Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (listen to the full Great Lakes event here).

For more Information on upcoming events in Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, please visit www.climatemayors.org.

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About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 467 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 is founded and Chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Co-Chaired by Mayors Sylvester Turner (Houston) and Martin J. Walsh (Boston). For more information, visit www.climatemayors.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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

Climate Mayors, in Partnership With the Mayors Innovation Project, Hosts Madison Mayor Rhodes-Conway, Saint Paul Mayor Carter, and Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barnes for Dialogue About a Sustainable and Just Economic Recovery

The livestream panel was the third in the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, an event series running through the fall with leaders in different regions across the U.S.

Listen to the full discussion HERE.

September 16, 2020 – Today, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes participated in a panel discussion as part of the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery. The event convened like-minded institutions, partners, and policy makers for a discussion about successful climate initiatives in the Great Lakes and ways that the panelists have collaborated to advance climate action both locally and nationally.

Today’s conversation was the third in a Climate Mayors event series advocating for national leadership to prioritize recovery policies that are environmentally sustainable and socially just in the time of COVID-19. The discussion was moderated by Paul Robbins, dean of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Climate Mayors convened this event in partnership with the Mayors Innovation Project at UW-Madison.

“At this moment in history, all mayors must think about how to reinvest in their communities. This creates a tremendous opportunity to invest not in the status quo, but in what we want – communities that are sustainable, resilient, and just,” said Climate Mayors Steering Committee member Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “I appreciate Climate Mayors and Mayors Innovation Project creating this opportunity for me to talk with other Midwest leaders, and for leaders across the country to share their ideas and their successes.”

“COVID-19 has laid bare the very challenges we’ve fought so hard to overcome for more than a generation, and that’s why it’s critical that we build back better, even stronger, and more resilient communities,” said Climate Mayors Steering Committee member Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “The ongoing work of Climate Mayors across our nation continues to help all of us realize this vision.”

“Over the last several years, cities and states have been leading the way on tackling the climate crisis, and together, we’ve been able to make some significant strides forward,” said Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. “But as we rebuild our communities and continue to respond to COVID-19, we must ensure that equity and sustainability are driving our recovery efforts, and environmental justice is at the center of this conversation going forward.”

The next event in the Climate Mayors series will highlight policies and initiatives undertaken by climate leaders in the Ohio Valley region. A nationally-focused discussion will follow later this fall. Mayors and their partners will highlight how environmental initiatives can help stimulate local economies, create jobs, improve public health, and reduce carbon emissions in the wake of COVID-19. They will also discuss the ways that their sustainability policies prioritize frontline communities and communities of color, who are more likely to be affected by pollution and the negative impacts of climate change.

“From the public health and economic disparities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic to unprecedented natural disasters like the wildfires raging across the West, the past year has made clear that we need more sustainable and just systems,” said James Ritchotte, Director of Climate Mayors. “Climate Mayors in the Great Lakes and beyond are committed to implementing innovative solutions that tackle our climate crisis and simultaneously prioritize racial justice, job growth and public health. With the leadership of mayors and other elected officials, cities and states are making the transition to a more green and equitable economy and, with the right support from our federal government to amplify and accelerate existing efforts, we can ensure a more resilient and sustainable country that works better for all of our communities.”

Earlier events in the series featured Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, and US Representative Kathy Castor, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, (watch the Southeast event here) and Texas leaders Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Austin Mayor Steve Adler and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg (watch the Texas event here).

For more Information on upcoming events in Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, please visit www.climatemayors.org.

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About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 464 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 is founded and Chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Co-Chaired by Mayors Sylvester Turner (Houston) and Martin J. Walsh (Boston). For more information, visit www.climatemayors.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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

Climate Mayors Hosts Houston Mayor Turner, San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler for Dialogue About a Sustainable and Just Economic Recovery

The livestream panel was the second in the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, an event series running through the fall with leaders in different regions across the U.S.

Watch the full discussion HERE.

September 2, 2020 – Today, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg participated in a panel discussion as part of the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery. The event convened like-minded institutions, partners, and policy makers for a discussion about successful climate initiatives in Texas and ways that the panelists have collaborated to advance climate action both locally and nationally.

Today’s conversation was the second in a Climate Mayors event series advocating for national leadership to prioritize recovery policies that are environmentally sustainable and socially just in the time of COVID-19. It was moderated by journalist Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune.

“Now more than ever, mayors across the country are prioritizing a transition to a more sustainable, equitable and resilient economy — it is time our federal government do the same,” said Climate Mayors Co-Chair Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Houston has seen firsthand how human-induced crises, like climate change and the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, can devastate communities and disproportionately harm our most vulnerable populations. With a sustainable recovery, we can confront environmental injustice, protect our communities, and pull our country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. For the future of Texas, we must meet this moment and invest in a sustainable future, and I’m proud to be in great company with my fellow Texan mayors who are doing just that.”

“Climate change is perhaps the defining challenge of our time. We must meet this challenge in ways that reflect the immediacy and extent of the crisis,” said Climate Mayors Steering Committee member Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “This is most true as it impacts our communities of color. They face disparities generally — and ones uniquely associated with climate change. We will use every tool we have to fight at the nexus of systemic inequities and climate change.”

“As Mayor of the 7th largest city in the nation, I am committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our residents. Being proactive about climate change in Texas means that we consider how extreme heat and severe storms affect our economy, infrastructure, workforce, and the families who call San Antonio home,” said Climate Mayors Steering Committee member San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “This is particularly important now while we are faced with addressing COVID-19, a recession, and systemic racism, our recovery must support our efforts to address the unfolding climate crisis. At the local level, we are proactively implementing policies, programs, and projects and embracing new technology to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. We are focused on reducing energy and transportation consumption, advancing the circular economy, and promoting biodiversity and healthy ecosystems. So that our residents feel empowered to participate in the conversation, we have established climate advisory committees and a Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council for Climate Initiatives. Hearing all voices and perspectives is essential for a just, equitable and green recovery.”

Later events in the Climate Mayors series will highlight policies and initiatives undertaken by climate leaders in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions, as well as a nationally-focused discussion in October. Mayors and their partners will highlight how environmental initiatives can help stimulate local economies, create jobs, improve public health, and reduce carbon emissions in the wake of COVID-19. They will also discuss the ways that their sustainability policies prioritize frontline communities and communities of color, who are more likely to be affected by pollution and the negative impacts of climate change.

“It’s become increasingly clear that climate change isn’t just an environmental issue — it is intrinsically tied to our public health, our economies, our national security, our housing, and our infrastructure,” said James Ritchotte, Director of Climate Mayors. “As seen by the recent wildfires in California and the devastation caused by Hurricane Laura in the Gulf, climate change is already here. In Texas and around the country, mayors are committed to climate-focused solutions that create good-paying jobs while prioritizing public health and racial justice. Houston, Austin and San Antonio have served as examples of climate leadership, and they’ll continue to lead the way in building an economy that is better than the one we leave behind.”

The first event in the series occurred July 23 and included Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, and US Representative Kathy Castor, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Watch the first event in the series here.

For more Information on upcoming events in Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, please visit www.climatemayors.org.

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About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 464 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 is founded and Chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Co-Chaired by Mayors Sylvester Turner (Houston) and Martin J. Walsh (Boston). For more information, visit www.climatemayors.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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

July 2020 – Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson
Climate Mayors Steering Committee Member

This year, mayors have faced crises that have shaken the country and disproportionately affected our underserved communities. Although we are often short on resources, we are the leaders on the front lines, dealing head-on with unprecedented challenges. And in the midst of these issues, we continue to contend with the implications of climate change on our cities.

At the local level, our job as leaders is to provide a safe and healthy environment for our residents and to be good stewards of our cities. As a father of two young boys, it is important to me that Dallas continues to thrive so that my sons can grow up in a better city than I did. It is imperative that we pursue policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the impacts of climate change on residents and businesses, and work to build healthier, more prosperous communities.

That’s why I created the Environment & Sustainability Committee, the first-ever standalone Dallas City Council committee devoted to environmental issues, and I made the creation and implementation of the Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) its No. 1 priority.

In late May, the City Council unanimously passed the CECAP, the city’s first-ever environmental plan. The plan is built on engagement with an incredibly broad and diverse set of community stakeholders. This process, and the unanimous outcome, represented a significant step forward for equity, environmental justice, and resilience in Dallas.

The CECAP outlines 97 actions the city can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental quality in every ZIP code in the city while also accommodating the needs of the business community. The plan has eight overarching goals:

  • Making buildings more efficient;
  • Generating and encouraging renewable, reliable, and affordable energy;
  • Ensuring communities have access to sustainable, affordable, transportation options;
  • Making Dallas a zero-waste community;
  • Protecting water resources and communities from flooding and drought;
  • Protecting and enhancing the city’s ecosystems, trees, and green spaces that in turn improve public health;
  • Providing all communities with access to healthy, locally grown, and sustainable food; and
  • Ensuring all Dallas communities breathe clean air.

For decades, Dallas has faced numerous environmental challenges. We have contended with air pollution, water pollution, and toxic hazards throughout our city, but particularly in underserved areas. I know this struggle firsthand; I grew up in the shadow of a lead smelter plant in West Dallas. Now, I believe, we are taking steps to overcome such challenges and to make Dallas a global leader in addressing environmental issues.

I am proud of our work to create this plan, which will mean a more just, equitable, and resilient future for all Dallasites, including my two sons.

Orlando Mayor Dyer, Miami Mayor Suarez, Columbia Mayor Benjamin and US Rep. Castor Speak About a Sustainable and Just Economic Recovery

The livestream panel was the first in the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, an event series running through the fall with leaders in different regions across the U.S.

Watch the full panel discussion.

July 23, 2020 – Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, and US Representative Kathy Castor participated in a panel discussion as part of the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery. The event convened like-minded institutions, partners, and policy makers for a discussion about successful climate initiatives in the Southeastern U.S., and ways that the panelists have collaborated across different levels of government.

Convened one day after Climate Mayors sent a letter to Congressional leaders, today’s conversation was the first in a Climate Mayors event series advocating for national leadership to prioritize recovery policies that are environmentally sustainable and socially just in the time of COVID-19. It was moderated by veteran journalist Tom O’Hara of The Invading Sea, a collaboration of 26 news organizations that cover climate change in Florida.

“There has never been a better time in history to re-imagine the transition towards an equitable, clean, and sustainable future,” said Climate Mayors Steering Committee member Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “As we look to move forward, we have an opportunity to rebuild our economies by doubling-down on our climate action work, to enhance the energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality in our homes and workplaces, accelerate more renewable energy and catalyze clean transportation and mobility solutions, such as zero-emission electric buses and vehicles.”

“No matter how large and global issues such as climate change may be, as Mayors we understand and can often see first-hand the impact they have at our local levels, and witness the detrimental effects on people we know in our communities,” said Climate Mayors member Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “I am encouraged by the efforts of Climate Mayors who are developing the strategies to confront the climate-based threats, and pleased to join their ranks and seek the very real and actionable methods to adapt our local communities to overcoming those threats.”

“Today, we stand at the intersection of resiliency; a place where the many faces and forms of resilience converge and this panel should serve as a reminder for exactly that,” said Climate Mayors member Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “Resiliency is never about just any one issue. Whether we’re establishing new clean-energy infrastructure or building up a food distribution system, genuine sustainability is a network and it makes me proud to be a member of an organization that tackles resilience from the root source.”

“Mayors and local leaders are taking crucial steps to make their communities more resilient, filling a leadership void left by a president who mocks science, ignores public health experts, and calls the climate crisis a hoax,” said Chair Kathy Castor of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. “Now more than ever, these local leaders deserve a strong federal partner to boost their local economies, protect the health and safety of families, and solve the climate crisis. We must work together on climate solutions for communities across America, as we prioritize environmental justice, unite behind the science, and ensure a robust economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Later events in the Climate Mayors series will highlight policies and initiatives undertaken by climate leaders in the Great Lakes region, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Mayors and their partners will highlight how environmental initiatives can help stimulate local economies, create jobs, improve public health, and reduce carbon emissions in the wake of COVID-19. They will also discuss the ways that their sustainability policies prioritize frontline communities and communities of color, who are more likely to be affected by pollution and the negative impacts of climate change.

“Mayors have long been on the frontlines of addressing critical issues in our communities, and in recent months they have responded to intersecting crises of COVID-19, climate change, racial inequity, and a rapid economic downturn,” said James Ritchotte, Director of Climate Mayors. “Climate Mayors are delivering results and leading important conversations about building a better tomorrow to ensure all communities are healthier, cleaner, and more resilient than before.”

For more Information on upcoming events in Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, please visit www.climatemayors.org.

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About Climate Mayors

Representing 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 461 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 is founded and Chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Co-Chaired by Mayors Sylvester Turner (Houston) and Martin J. Walsh (Boston). For more information, please visit www.climatemayors.org.

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