Climate Mayors, C40, and Urban Sustainability Directors Network Release New Paper Detailing How Partnership and Collaboration Can Maximize the Impact of Federal Climate Investments

Today, we’re excited to announce the release of the new Climate Mayors, C40, and Urban Sustainability Directors Network paper: Maximizing the Impact of Federal Climate Investments: The Unique Role of Cities. City governments are uniquely positioned to drive progress on climate action because they are the most directly connected to residents, and are nimble enough to innovate and test solutions that can scale. This new paper details how cities are key to meeting climate targets and the additional support needed to optimize the unprecedented opportunity provided through federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

There is a unique opportunity for local governments to collaborate on implementation, but there are considerable challenges to realizing the potential of BIL and IRA funding. However, other actors – the federal government, states and state agencies, the philanthropic community, and climate advocates – have the chance to take action to empower cities to unleash the full potential of federal funding. 

The paper was developed by C40 Cities, Climate Mayors, and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network as part of their partnership to support cities to access and implement funding made available through the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in order to advance ambitious climate action. Together, we will ensure that cities are ready to meet the moment.

Read the paper in its entirety HERE.

City-Climate Coalition Appropriations Letter

As members of Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of over 350 mayors committed to climate action; the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), a coalition of local government sustainability practitioners representing more than 280 communities; C40 cities, a network of mayors of nearly 100 world-leading cities, including 14 cities in the United States; the U.S. Conference of Mayors, representing over 1,400 cities with populations of 30,000 or more; and the National League of Cities, representing 19,000 cities, towns and villages nationwide, we urge Congressional leaders to move forward with final passage of a clean FY24 spending bill with zero cuts to the investments from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) that are already working to support local economies and creating good jobs.

Cities across America have long demonstrated that economic growth and environmental stewardship go hand in hand – and now, our federal government can show the world that investments in a just and clean energy economy are investments in the future of our workforce, the well-being of generations, and the resilience of our infrastructure and public spaces. This moment demands that we accelerate our efforts to drive ambitious, systemic change.

Read the full letter and recommendations therein HERE.


Kate Wright
Executive Director
Climate Mayors

Cynthia McCoy
Director, Federal Engagement
Urban Sustainability Directors Network

Clarence E. Anthony
CEO & Executive Director
National League of Cities

Laura Jay
Regional Director, North America
C40 Cities

Tom Cochran
CEO & Executive Director
The U.S. Conference of Mayors

Over 50 U.S. Mayors Sign Letter to Treasury Urging Simple Direct Pay Guidelines to Accelerate Local Climate Action

Mayors applaud new access to elective pay credits that will turbocharge climate action and environmental justice at the local level

Washington D.C. (August 23) – Over 50 U.S. mayors signed on to a letter expressing appreciation and laying out a set of recommendations to the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (Treasury) regarding a game-changing new program that will allow cities to benefit from clean energy tax credits in unprecedented ways. Elective pay (or direct pay) is a critical mechanism for expanding the clean energy economy, made available by President Biden’s Clean Energy Plan. This new program will allow tax exempt entities – like non profit organizations, state, local and Tribal governments, and rural electric cooperatives – to gain access to credits, which corporations have long benefitted from, for the first time. This offers cities an incredible opportunity to turbocharge local climate action.

Climate Mayors – a bipartisan organization of over 350 mayors – is excited about the opportunity to accelerate local climate ambition and transition to clean energy that this transformative direct pay program presents. This will be the first time these credits are available for city-owned clean energy projects – making projects more affordable for local governments and leveling the playing field between local governments and the private sector. Cities already have ambitious plans for the newly available credits such as: retrofitting for energy efficiency, rooftop solar installation, construction of community resilience hubs in disadvantaged neighborhoods, purchasing and deploying electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and deploying renewable energy systems like geothermal. 

Making it possible for cities to access certain clean energy tax credits will be sure to move us toward a net-zero economy and help the U.S. meet its Paris Agreement climate goals. However, more clarification is needed before mayors can confidently take advantage of this critical IRA provision. In the comment letter to Treasury, Climate Mayors expressed the need for the agencies to work together to ensure localities understand the full extent that they can access the clean energy credits without being penalized. The reality for many localities is that they are constrained by limited staff capacity and financial resources. The Treasury and Administration must work together to ensure localities don’t miss out on these credits.

Over the last year, cities have already been taking concrete action to fight the climate crisis and build community resilience, but with these supportive elective pay provisions in place, this is just the beginning.

“Allowing cities to utilize elective pay credits can catalyze local climate projects and turbo charge the clean energy economy at a scale that was previously unimaginable,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. “We thank the Biden-Harris administration for the inclusion of cities in their plans and we hope that further clarifications of the rules will allow local leaders to fully leverage their climate investments.” 

“With investments ramping up in renewable energy, electrified transportation and green jobs, now is a fantastic time for cities to take advantage of elective payment credits,” said Madison Mayor and Climate Mayors Chair, Satya Rhodes-Conway. “Here in Madison, we expect to be able to access over $10 million in credits from projects we already have planned. That will help us invest even more in making our community more resilient, sustainable and equitable.”

In the comment letter, Climate Mayors applauds the Biden-Harris administration for its all-of-government approach to climate action and appreciates the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service for recognizing that direct pay will benefit various industries and support economic progress while also reducing multi-sector greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Mayors feedback and recommendations to Treasury on direct pay includes: 

  • (1) clarifying the timeline between the pre-filing registration process, elective payment election, and when an eligible entity would receive an elective payment; 
  • (2) clarifying eligible entities as it relates to certain agencies and instrumentalities within political subdivisions, such as housing and transit authorities and/or publicly owned utilities; 
  • (3) clarifying eligible projects with the potential for a “pre-approval” process in future iterations of the pre-filing registration process; 
  • (4) clarifying conditions that Treasury would consider a reasonable cause where an entity receives a penalty for excessive payment; and,
  • (5) recommending that Treasury work across agencies to support eligible entities in taking advantage of elective payments.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.


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 46 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 X and LinkedIn. For media inquiries please contact


Climate Mayors Elective Pay Feedback Letter

We thank the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (together, Treasury) for providing this opportunity to comment on Treasury’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR or proposed rule)¹ providing additional guidance on the Elective Payment of Applicable Credits established under Section 6417 of the Internal Revenue Code, as added by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in 2022. The undersigned Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of over 350 Mayors, believe the intentions of elective pay will be truly transformative for cities and appreciate Treasury considering integrating these recommendations into the final guidance.

Read the full letter and recommendations therein here.


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

Mayor Kate Gallego
City of Phoenix, AZ
Climate Mayors Vice Chair

Mayor Justin M. Bibb
City of Cleveland, OH
Climate Mayors Vice Chair


Steering Committee Members

Mayor Michael P Cahill
City of Beverly, MA

Mayor LaToya Cantrell
City of New Orleans, LA

Mayor Jane Castor
City of Tampa, FL

Mayor Andre Dickens
City of Atlanta, GA

Mayor Jacob Frey
City of Minneapolis, MN

Mayor Craig Greenberg
City of Louisville, KY

Mayor James Hovland
City of Edina, MN

Mayor Lioneld Jordan
City of Fayetteville, AR

Mayor Indya Kincannon
City of Knoxville, TN

Mayor Lauren McLean
City of Boise, ID

Mayor Jeffrey J. Mims, Jr.
City of Dayton, OH

Mayor Ron Nirenberg
City of San Antonio, TX

Mayor Daniel J. Rickenmann
City of Columbia, SC

Mayor Regina Romero
City of Tucson, AZ

Mayor Lucy Vinis
City of Eugene, OR

Mayor Michelle Wu
City of Boston, MA


Climate Mayors Membership

Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft
City of Alameda, CA

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird
City of Lincoln, NE

Mayor Lisa Batey
Milwaukie, OR

Mayor Angela Birney
City of Redmond, WA 

Mayor Daniel Biss
City of Evanston, IL

Mayor Rick Blangiardi
City and County of Honolulu, HI

Mayor Noam Bramson
City of New Rochelle, NY

Mayor Paul Brodeur
City of Melrose, MA

Mayor Barbara Buffaloe
City of Columbia, MO

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava
Miami-Dade County, FL

Mayor Paige G. Cognetti
Scranton, PA

Mayor Chance Cutrano
Town of Fairfax, CA

Mayor Gleam Davis
City of Santa Monica, CA

Mayor John Giles
City of Mesa, AZ

Mayor Bruce Harrell
City of Seattle, WA

Mayor Jordan Hess
City of Missoula, MT

Mayor Brandon Johnson
Chicago, IL 

Mayor Cavalier Johnson
City of Milwaukee, WI

Mayor Emily Larson
City of Duluth, MN

Mayor Heidi Leub
City of Tigard, OR

Mayor Matt Mahan
City of San Jose, CA

Mayor Steve Noble
City of Kingston, NY

Mayor John Ortega
Village of Questa, NM

Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard
City of Mount Vernon, NY

Mayor Mary Lou Pauly
City of Issaquah, WA

President Senta Plunkett
Village of Wilmette, IL

Mayor Thomas M. Roach
City of White Plains, NY

Mayor Talisha Searcy
City of Takoma Park, MD

Mayor Damon Seils
Town of Carrboro, NC

Mayor Gamal Sherif
Borough of Rutledge, PA

Mayor Christopher Taylor
City of Ann Arbor, MI

Mayor Alan Webber
City of Santa Fe, NM

Mayor Miro Weinberger
City of Burlington, VT


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Statement: Climate Mayors Celebrates the One-Year Anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act and Looks Ahead to Elevated Climate Action in Cities Across America

One year ago today, President Biden signed the historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law delivering billions of dollars in grants, incentives, and tax breaks to help make cities more sustainable and equitable. We’re celebrating this year of climate progress by highlighting the hundreds of millions of dollars already won by member cities since the passage of the IRA as well as from other climate investments included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and (BIL) and American Rescue Plan (ARPA). 

These historic investments in climate action will increase energy security through clean power generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy costs for families, and support inclusive career training programs and new green jobs that will help workers put food on the table and care for their families. 

With more federal funding available than ever, Climate Mayors is excited by the promise of accelerated climate progress in cities across America and ready to get to work on implementing these ambitious programs. Together, with local leaders lighting the path forward, the future of public health, safety, and sustainability is bright. We know that cities are uniquely positioned and skilled to deliver the benefits of the IRA, and we’re excited to support them along the way.

“Today we celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act and President Biden’s commitment to advancing climate action. For a decade Climate Mayors have been leading the way on climate ambition. Now, fueled by federal investments, cities are turbocharging their climate initiatives and catalyzing collective progress towards meeting U.S. climate goals. As an organization we are supporting mayors in meeting this unprecedented moment and delivering on the promise of a more equitable and sustainable future. ” – Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director

“The Inflation Reduction Act is helping to take climate action in Madison to new heights. Our community will be benefiting from cleaner electric vehicles and renewable energy, and both homeowners and renters will see expanded access to home energy efficiency and the utility bill savings that it generates. All while helping grow the green workforce in Wisconsin. The IRA makes impactful climate solutions accessible. We’re pleased to recognize the one year anniversary of this historic legislation and look ahead to the many successes to come.” – Mayor Rhodes-Conway of Madison, Climate Mayors Chair 

“Phoenix is addressing the impacts of climate change head on, from advancing heat mitigation strategies to pioneering new solutions to protect our water resources. This milestone investment will help us raise the bar like never before. Known as the “electric valley” and for our spirit of innovation, we’re embracing the opportunities provided by this federal support to modernize our infrastructure and capitalize on job creation potential. The issues faced by communities across the country demand alignment from all levels of government, and the Inflation Reduction Act provides Phoenix with renewed ability to meet the moment with urgency and creativity.” – Mayor Gallego of Phoenix, Climate Mayors Vice-Chair

“Cities cannot fight climate change alone. Green transportation-oriented development through the use of bike lanes and ramping up neighborhood accessibility to public transit are among the goals we intend to achieve thanks to the funding released through the Inflation Reduction Act. Further, we’re implementing solar power on the roofs of low-income housing to make energy both accessible and affordable. We celebrate the one year anniversary of the IRA and look forward to continuing to harness its potential in order to uplift communities and empower them to take full advantage of the sustainable provisions and incentives on the table for them.” – Mayor Bibb of Cleveland, Climate Mayors Vice-Chair


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 46 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 X and LinkedIn. For media inquiries please contact

Mayoral Terms End, but Climate Legacies Live on Forever: Recognizing Mayor Michael. B Hancock

Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver began his term in 2011 and will close this chapter in July of 2023. During this time he also served on the Climate Mayors steering committee in 2019. This leadership has set the stage for continued climate innovation in Denver now and in the future.

“As my time as Mayor of Denver comes to a close, I reflect with gratitude on the great opportunity to serve this incredible city and its people. It’s been an honor to work alongside fellow Climate Mayors to drive our collective mission of decarbonizing cities, strengthening environmental justice, and supporting the green transition. The best of Denver’s story is yet to be written, and I am excited to witness its next chapter as a proud resident and advocate for our beloved city.” – Former Mayor Michael B. Hancock

Mayor Hancock’s legacy often focused on making sustainability accessible to individuals within the community. The successes below showcase how sustainable living and policy making was woven into the fabric of a diversity of communities throughout his term. 

  • Announced the 2021 Climate Protection Fund, which allocated $57 million to climate investments 
  • Allocated rebates for energy efficient heating and cooling, covering up to 100% of the cost for low income households
  • Allocated funding for neighborhoods and small businesses to go green 
  • Oversaw the Energize Denver building performance ordinance, which has been hailed as the nation’s gold standard to drastically cut buildings’ reliance on fossil fuels
  • As of June 2023, the Climate Protection Fund (CPF) fund has committed $172 million in climate investments, and 60% of that directly benefits Denver’s most climate-vulnerable people and communities
  • Committed $18 million in community solar, with 30 percent of the power generated allocated to pay bills for Denver Public Schools families with lower incomes 
  • From 2008 to 2021, Denver reduced its GHG emissions by more than 30%
  • Doubled spending on climate across all agencies from 2021 to 2023 (in 2023’s budget, over $150M was dedicated to climate action)
  • 833 households have installed or reserved a heat pump through Climate Action Rebates
  • 159 Certifiably Green Denver businesses
  • Over 100 people enrolled in green workforce training programs
  • $300k given out in 2022 to 37 minority and/or women-owned small businesses to fund sustainability projects
  • Enacted an ordinance that requires all buildings of 25,000 or more square feet to record their energy usage and report publicly in a format that allows for comparison of energy performance among such buildings

The Climate Mayors organization thanks Mayor Hancock for his commitment to leading in Denver and creating a model for mayors across the U.S.. “We are deeply appreciative of Mayor Hancock’s advocacy for the health and prosperity of all Denver communities. From home electrification rebates to critical investments in solar power, Climate Mayors thanks Mayor Hancock for his inspirational leadership,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. The former Mayor put people first by prioritizing policy transformation and concrete funding support to ensure residents had equitable access to a more sustainable lifestyle. The ripple effect from the efforts in clean energy, transportation electrification, and green business will be felt for generations to come.


For media inquiries please contact

Statement from Climate Mayors Supporting New White House Guidance on Direct Pay for Tax Credits in the Historic Inflation Reduction Act

June 14, 2023 – Today, President Biden released initial guidance on direct pay for tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act. The historic bill includes billions of dollars in provisions that help address the climate crisis and move the country towards a clean energy economy. Direct pay is a critical mechanism for tax exempt entities like non profit organizations, state, local and Tribal governments, public utilities, and rural electric cooperatives to gain access to clean energy tax credits for the first time. 

With transformative incentives such as tax credits now being made available through the bill, Climate Mayors is keen on ensuring cities have access to as much support as possible to continue decarbonizing, electrifying and adapting in the face of climate change.

Our member cities are thrilled to receive this guidance as they have ambitious plans for using the credits to support various programs and projects to lower energy costs for consumers, advance renewable energy deployment, and advance environmental justice. From electric vehicle charging infrastructure to solar power to widespread building electrification, these funds will be highly transformative for the speed and efficacy of the green transition at large. With this support and guidance from the White House, clean energy financing can be transformed and accelerated for cities across the country. Our Mayors aim to use direct pay to take climate action plans further and faster than ever.

Climate Mayors thanks the Biden administration for providing useful guidance on direct pay for Inflation Reduction Act tax credits and continuing to factor in public and stakeholder needs when creating guidance. This attention to accessibility ensures that cities and municipalities will be able to utilize and amplify investments to their fullest potential. Together, we will raise the bar on clean energy advancement across the nation.

“Once again, the Biden Administration has reinforced its commitment to meeting our nation’s climate goals,” said Madison Mayor and Climate Mayors Chair, Satya Rhodes-Conway. “With this new guidance, Climate Mayors members are prepared to meet the moment and deliver a greener, cleaner future. In Madison and across the country, local leaders are switching to renewable energy, investing in clean transportation, and creating good, green jobs in the process. We are grateful to the administration for its continued support in ensuring that cities can take full advantage of this historic climate funding.”

“The guidance shared today from the White House demonstrates that the Biden Administration continues to deliver to meet local needs,” said Phoenix Mayor and Climate Mayors Vice-Chair, Kate Gallego. “It is imperative for governments to incentivize the clean energy transition to ensure climate targets are met, and this administration has prioritized accessibility to maximize impact.”

“The Biden Administration and Inflation Reduction Act continue to break down barriers for local leaders to implement critical climate forward infrastructure,” said Cleveland Mayor and Climate Mayors Vice-Chair, Justin Bibb. “The direct pay guidance further uplifts Cleveland’s – and the nation’s – efforts in growing our clean energy economy by opening the doors to folks previously under the radar. A true good faith investment in equitable access across the board.”

“The guidance and support provided by the Biden Administration today is a crucial step in our continued progress toward a clean-powered, resilient future for Americans,” said Houston Mayor and Climate Mayors Chair Emeritus, Sylvester Turner. “Through direct pay, local leaders can supercharge clean energy projects in our communities to make impactful strides toward climate and clean energy goals.”


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 46 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


Climate Mayors Welcomes New 2023 Steering Committee Members to Turbocharge Climate Action from Coast to Coast

Climate Mayors strengthens its Steering Committee leadership with the addition of the first African American female Mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, and Atlanta Mayor and Deacon, Andre Dickens.

April 13, 2022 – Today, Climate Mayors welcomes two new mayors to its Steering Committee, Mayors Karen Bass of Los Angeles and Andre Dickens of Atlanta. From the West Coast to the deep South, Climate Mayors are working to bring clean energy, electrified transit, and decarbonized homes and buildings to cities across America. With their commitment to advancing clean energy and environmental justice across their cities, these mayors will be an incredible addition not only to the Climate Mayors organization, but also to the fight against the climate crisis at large. 

Cities account for over 70% of global emissions, making emissions reductions in urban areas critical to meeting climate targets. Coming from major metropolitan cities, Mayors Bass and Dickens provide the keen insight and expertise needed to tackle greenhouse gas reductions on a grand scale. With unprecedented federal support for climate action now coming available through the historic Inflation Reduction Act, these mayors are meeting the moment by accelerating implementation and leveraging funding.

Bass has already broken barriers as the first African American female mayor of LA, but her ambition doesn’t stop there; Los Angeles has long held robust climate goals and Mayor Bass is committed to meeting those targets. Advancing the clean energy economy, expanding access to zero-emission transportation, enhancing biodiversity and climate resiliency, and conserving natural resources are top of mind for Bass. Climate justice is also of focus and training workforces for prosperous, sustainable jobs – especially for frontline communities, under-resourced groups, communities of color, people with disabilities, and the elderly – ensuring people from all backgrounds are uplifted during the green transition. 

Mayor Dickens is prioritizing emissions and pollution reduction, environmental justice, and clean energy projects to meet the 100% clean energy by 2035 target for Atlanta. Existing successes include street and road improvements to increase biking and walking, infrastructure improvements to connect neighborhoods across Atlanta that have been historically divided, and supporting Atlanta Public Schools with the effort to secure funding to transition from diesel to electric school buses. Dickens recognizes that safe, equitable, and decarbonized infrastructure is a key component in achieving a sustainable Atlanta. 

Mayors Bass and Dickens are in good company alongside the returning Steering Committee members: Buddy Dyer, Orlando, FL; Daniel Rickenmann, Columbia, SC; Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh, PA; Eric Johnson, Dallas, TX; Frank Cownie, Des Moines, IA; Indya Kincannon, Knoxville, TN; Jacob Frey, Minneapolis, MN; Jane Castor, Tampa, FL; Jeffrey Mims, Jr. Dayton, OH; Jim Brainard, Carmel, IN; Jim Hovland, Edina, MN; LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans, LA;  Lauren McLean, Boise, ID; Lioneld Jordan, Fayetteville, AR; Lucy Vinis, Eugene, OR; Michael Cahill, Beverly, MA; Michelle Wu, Boston, MA; Regina Romero, Tucson, AZ; Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio, TX and Tim Keller, Albuquerque, NM.

The Steering Committee works alongside the Climate Mayors’ Chair, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, and Vice-Chairs, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, to continue driving city-led climate action to create more sustainable, equitable, and healthy cities. Together, the Climate Mayors leadership team works to drive forward the mission and vision of the organization through cross-regional learning, strategic partnerships and creative climate solutions. With the leadership of Karen Bass and Andre Dickens, Climate Mayors is poised to take its climate commitments and achievements to new heights.

“Los Angeles has long been a leader in the climate fight and I am thrilled to join the Climate Mayors Steering Committee alongside fellow city leaders who know the importance of climate action,” said Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles, CA. “With support from Climate Mayors, I am excited to continue implementing high-impact climate solutions while prioritizing equity, environmental justice, and resilience in Los Angeles and beyond. There is no sustainability without equity.”

“As city leaders, we know that marginalized communities often experience impacts of the climate crisis first and worst,” said Mayor Andre Dickens of Atlanta, GA. “In joining the Climate Mayors Steering Committee, I look forward to learning from and sharing ideas with fellow climate leaders. Together, we are committed to advancing the clean energy transition, improving green infrastructure, and uplifting historically disinvested communities in Atlanta as we continue to build a city built for the future.”

“The Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provide tremendous support from the federal government, creating an unprecedented moment of opportunity to act on climate change,” said Kate Wright, Executive Director of Climate Mayors. “The Climate Mayors organization is proud to welcome Mayors Bass and Dickens to its leadership team to help leverage this momentum and drive meaningful action in cities across the country. These two climate champions are ready to meet the moment with innovative local solutions that build thriving, sustainable and resilient communities of the future. We’re honored to have them on board.”


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


Three Climate Mayors Reach the End of their Terms and Leave Behind Climate Legacies

Three members of the Climate Mayors’ Steering Committee will soon conclude their terms as city mayors. Yet, their leadership in climate action leaves behind unforgettable legacies.

Several leaders of Climate Mayors will be concluding their terms as mayors and stepping down from their positions within the steering committee. Mayors Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Steve Adler of Austin, and Greg Fischer of Louisville have dutifully served their communities as champions for local climate action and progressive policy making. With Climate Mayors’ own co-founder Mayor Garcetti, and others leaving office it seemed timely to take a look back on all the considerable impacts these mayors have made on our climate and their local communities.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has held office since 2013 and in the following year he co-founded Climate Mayors alongside former Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia and former Mayor Parker of Houston. Since then, the bipartisan organization founded to build political will for federal and global climate action has welcomed almost 500 mayors into its fold. In addition to being Chair of Climate Mayors from 2014-2020, he also served as Chair of C40 Cities – a global city-led organization in the fight against climate change – from 2019-2021. 

In addition to his national leadership in building political momentum for climate action, Mayor Garcetti holds an impressive track record for environmental wins in LA. Below is just a sampling of the positive change created during his term:

  • Launched Los Angeles’ Green New Deal, an ambitious update to​ the city’s first-ever Sustainable City Plan from 2015. It aims to secure clean air and water and a stable climate, improve community resilience, expand access to healthy food and open space, and promote justice for all
  • Established first in the nation Climate Emergency Mobilization Office (CEMO) to foster collaboration with policymakers and community leaders to create opportunities to improve sustainability and resilience at L.A.’s most burdened communities.
  • As of 2018, LA had the most solar power installed out of any city in the US and was named the #1 Solar City in America in 8 of the last 9 years
  • LA became the first city in the U.S. to launch an electric car share program designed to serve low-income residents in 2017
  • Invested $150 million into two LADWP programs targeting low-income multifamily energy efficiency and building electrification, including free upgrades for renters
  • Installed the most publicly available and commercial electric vehicle chargers of any city in the nation
  • As of 2020, LA’s GHG emissions are down 36%. In 2016 alone, L.A. reduced its city-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 11%, equivalent to taking 737,000 cars off the road
  • Created over 60,000 green jobs
  • Attracted $695 million in green investments and supported 340 startups as of June, 2022 through the LA Cleantech Incubator

“In the year 2100, when the human race looks back at the challenges this century brought us, I know they will be grateful for everything Mayor Garcetti and the City Council accomplished in this past decade on climate, and for everything we are going to accomplish next.” – Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“We appreciate the leadership and partnership of the Mayor’s Office in championing innovative and equitable solutions to the health, climate, and environmental justice threats our communities face. The establishment of the first-in-the-nation Climate Emergency Mobilization Office is a lasting legacy that will center frontline, indigenous and vulnerable communities in policy design, and will ensure that the benefits of a just transition will be shared by all.”

– Martha Dina Argüello, Executive Director Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles

Mayor Steve Adler has held office in Austin since 2015 and will term out of office in January 2023. On the national stage, Mayor Adler has served on the Climate Mayors steering committee since 2019 and has been a member of C40 Cities since 2006. Climate leadership on this stage – from a Texas mayor – exemplified how climate progress can even take shape in states historically tied with fossil fuel production and consumption.

During his time in office, Mayor Adler has been a progressive force for climate action in the red state of Texas. Below are some examples of transformative work at the local level:

  • Project Connect is a new light rail and bus network designed to connect neighborhoods around Austin. It aims to improve access to daily needs like jobs, healthcare, and education. By reducing people’s reliance on cars, the project also aims to play a role in tackling Austin’s carbon footprint and helping the City of Austin reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2040
  • A 400-mile All Ages and Abilities Bicycle Network is being built throughout the city to help Austin achieve its mode-shift goals. Late last year, 215 miles — over 50% — of the network had been completed.
  • In 2021, the revised and updated Austin Climate Equity Plan was adopted by Council. Austin’s original climate plan was adopted by the City Council in 2015, with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and the intention of updating the plan every 5 years. The revised plan accelerates Austin’s goal to become a Net Zero city by ten years – from 2040 to 2050.
  • Created new green jobs with an equity lens through the Austin Civilian Conservation Corps
  • The Community Climate Ambassadors Program recruits individuals to host community conversations and lead projects with historically underrepresented groups about climate change, racial equity, and sustainability
  • The Austin Youth Climate Equity Council empowers Austin’s next generation of climate champions with the tools to engage in community issues around climate change, environmental policy, and environmental justice
  • Awarded 493 Bright Green Future Grants to Austin area schools for sustainability-focused projects and education. 70% of all Title 1 schools in Austin have received funding, which includes schools with higher numbers of students from low-income families
  • Adopted the 2021 Residential International Energy Code which, will save energy and GHG emissions, and remove mandatory natural gas hookups for residential homes

“The most important lesson learned here is that we will never come close to overcoming climate change without centering racial equity and community leadership.” Shane Johnson, Sierra Club, Austin Office of Sustainability Steering Committee Tri-Chair

“It is not the power of one but the power of many perspectives, communities, and knowledge to shift the direction of climate impacts.” – Shaun Auckland, SPEER , Austin Office of Sustainability Advisory Group Member

Mayor Greg Fischer has held office in Louisville, Kentucky for over a decade, beginning in 2011 and closing out in January of 2023. Fischer has been active on the national and global level as a champion for climate action through service on the Climate Mayors steering committee and participation in Global Covenant of Mayors. Mayor Fischer also signed the We’re Still In letter, committing Louisville to pursue the requirements outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, regardless of national leadership decisions. His keen awareness of the ramifications that city emissions have on the national and global environment turbocharged actions taken at the local level.

During his terms, clean energy and resilience were top of mind as showcased in the achievements here:

  • Mayor Greg Fischer created the Office of Sustainability in 2012 and tasked the office with drafting the city’s first-ever sustainability plan, Sustain Louisville
  • Adoption of the original Sustain Louisville Plan in March 2013
  • In 2022, Mayor Fischer signed an executive order committing Louisville to the science-based target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions community-wide by 2040. The order was an update to prior set goals of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions community-wide by 2050, and helps Louisville meet its commitment under the Cities Race to Zero. Following this Executive Order, Louisville Metro Council passed a resolution reaffirming the same goal, building on a previous resolution for 100% renewable electricity for Metro operations by 2030, 100% clean energy for Metro operations by 2035, and 100% clean energy community-wide by 2040
  • Since 2016, Louisville Metro has leveraged over $15 million in private capital toward energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through its Energy Project Assessment District (EPAD) Program, a financing mechanism that allows non-residential property owners to repay private loans for energy improvement projects.
  • In September 2019, Mayor Fischer declared a Climate Emergency at a youth-led climate strike to recognize the urgency to halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of climate change and restore the climate for future generations. Hundreds of Louisville students, parents, concerned citizens, and politicians joined cities around the world in a day of global protest to demand action on climate change.
  • On April 4, 2022, Louisville Metro was accepted into the U.S. Department of Energy’s Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) pilot which provides technical assistance to cities to develop sustainability programs that benefit environmental justice communities. 
  • The Solar Over Louisville campaign was launched in June 2022. The plan encourages residents to install solar panels and simplifies the process of doing so
  • Louisville received the distinction of being one of less than 100 cities around the world to make CDP’s annual A List in 2021 and 2022. The global environmental nonprofit’s list recognizes major progress in climate action and transparency.

“As Louisville Metro Government’s leading Community Partner in the sustainability space, the Louisville Sustainability Council is honored to have had the opportunity to work so closely with Mayor Fischer over the years. Mayor Fischer has greatly contributed to helping our city dream and achieve significant sustainability milestones. We will deeply miss Mayor Fischer’s energy, passion, and support for climate mitigation and education.” – Julia Murray, Executive Director, Louisville Sustainability Council

The Climate Mayors organization thanks Mayors Garcetti, Adler, and Fischer for their commitment to maintaining focus on one of the most pressing issues of our lives. They  challenged the organization and their cities to reach new heights in promoting climate justice, equity and sustainability for all. “It has been an honor to work alongside these mayors. Their dedication to climate resilience, emissions reduction, environmental justice, and community prosperity has produced positive impacts that will be felt for generations to come,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. “Their climate leadership will serve as a guiding light to their successors and we aim to continue to make bold and inspired climate action in Los Angeles, Austin, and Louisville going forward.”


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​​Climate Mayors Welcomes its 2023 Mayoral Leadership Team

Climate Mayors closes out the year by welcoming a new leadership team to head into a major year for climate action and progress in U.S. cities.

Climate Mayors announced their new leadership team on December 14, 2022, highlighting several mayors who will be carrying the torch as the new leaders of the climate action organization. With Mayor Turner of Houston stepping down as his term nears its end, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison will serve as the 2023 Chair. She will lead alongside Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix who has held her Vice-Chair position since 2021 and new incoming Vice-Chair, Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland. These three mayors have been exemplary models for citywide attention to the climate crisis, public health and environmental justice and are poised to continue this leadership in the year ahead.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway has held office in Madison, Wisconsin since 2019 and began her term by making history as the first openly LGBTQ person to hold the position. She has been a member of the Climate Mayors Steering Committee since 2020 and served as Vice-Chair in 2021 and 2022. We’re proud to announce her transition to Chair of Climate Mayors. Her leadership on climate action in Madison showcases her dedication to protecting people and the planet. The Mayor has prioritized climate action in numerous ways such as investing in energy retrofits to affordable housing, advancing EV-charging infrastructure, and she is now breaking ground on a $160 million bus rapid transit system with all-electric buses. Mayor Rhodes-Conway’s actions show what’s possible with bold, ambitious climate leadership.

Madison has already achieved many climate wins, including investing in over 20 megawatts of rooftop and offsite solar energy, rapidly converting municipal fleets to electric and alternative fuels, and making major investments in Madison’s stormwater system to increase resilience to flooding, just to name a few. A priority for the Mayor for the upcoming year will be helping cities take full advantage of climate solutions in the Inflation Reduction Act. 

“I’m honored to serve as Climate Mayors Chair at this critical time for climate action in cities,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway. “Cities have long been our climate leaders, and during my time as Climate Mayors Chair, I am eager to work with other Mayors, the federal government, and numerous partners to help ensure that the unprecedented federal investments in climate solutions reach U.S. cities and their residents.”

Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona has held office since 2019 and has served as the Climate Mayors Vice-Chair since 2020 and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities since 2021. In 2023, she will maintain her position as Vice-Chair alongside the new leadership team members. Mayor Gallego’s goal is to make Phoenix the most sustainable desert city on the planet. As the world continues to warm, that means boosting the city’s heat resiliency, implementing innovative ideas like cool pavement; managing water supplies in ways that encourage conservation; and advancing transit options like light rail while building infrastructure that supports electric vehicle adoption. She also put transparency and access first with the launch of a new environment and sustainability web portal in 2022 which provides residents with timely updates and access to environmental, sustainability, and climate programs.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside Mayors Bibb and Rhodes-Conway toward our shared mission at Climate Mayors,” said Mayor Gallego. “Our leadership team will continue to put people first in the fight against climate change. Challenging ourselves and our cities to meet the unique needs of our local communities while driving progress forward in clean energy, adaptation and sustainable innovation.”

Mayor Justin Bibb has served as the first millennial mayor of Cleveland, Ohio since 2022 and is now a newly inducted member of the Climate Mayors leadership team as Vice-Chair. Climate justice and sustainability has been a key component of Mayor Bibb’s platform, since connecting with constituents about their lived health experiences related to climate change, such as asthma aggravated by increasing high heat days. In his first year as mayor, Bibb has included climate justice as a key component for all cabinet leader positions, as well as elevating it into a titled cabinet role – Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice. Thus embedding accountability, equity and just transition at the forefront of climate change solutions planned, coordinated and implemented by the city. Mayor Bibb identifies reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and moving toward solar, wind, and hydro power as a key driver of the city’s green economic outlook. 

The City of Cleveland has already set a goal of meeting 100% of the city’s overall electricity demand from renewable energy sources by 2050, but is currently exploring a more aggressive timeline to achieve the vision of a clean and equitable energy future. Cleveland also offers tax abatements and grants for residential developments that meet Cleveland Green Building Standards, and is piloting a rooftop Solar Low-Moderate Income (LMI) program for up to 10 households.

Under Mayor Bibb’s leadership, the city will build upon and align past municipal level climate action planning with science-based climate targets and convene economic leadership in the greater metropolitan area to co-identify and co-plan clear next steps to pivot local and regional decarbonization commitments into action.

 “I’m honored to serve amongst seasoned Climate Mayors Gallego and Rhodes-Conway as Vice-Chair. Supporting the conditions for climate justice to thrive in Cleveland and in cities across America is a critical step toward creating an equitable tomorrow for all”, said Mayor Justin Bibb.

The Climate Mayors organization is proud to welcome these three exceptional mayors to its leadership team. There is no doubt that they will dutifully serve their cities and this organization by leading the charge in transitioning to clean energy, reducing city emissions, creating jobs, and uplifting environmental justice. “We’re thrilled to bring fresh energy and ideas to the Climate Mayors leadership team. The dynamic leadership of Mayors Rhodes-Conway, Bibb and Gallego will harness the power of U.S. cities to make an impact in meeting Paris Agreement targets and limiting global warming despite what’s going on at the federal level,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. “Building on the remarkable work accomplished by outgoing leadership, the new team will lead the way in making 2023 a year of robust and diverse climate achievements in cities.”



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