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.”

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About Climate Mayors:

Climate Mayors is a bipartisan network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors since 2014, demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 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 climatemayors@fgsglobal.com

 

Climate Mayors Announces New Membership & Communication Manager to Support Communication Around City-Led Climate Initiatives

Rachel Paris Joins Climate Mayors as Membership & Communication Manager to provide research and communications insight to empower city-level climate action.

October 13, 2022 — Today, Climate Mayors, the network of more than 500 U.S. mayors across the country committed to climate leadership and progress in their cities, announced the appointment of Rachel Paris as its new Membership & Communication Manager. 

Paris joins Climate Mayors from Climate Action Campaign (CAC), where she spearheaded communications projects to support grassroots climate action initiatives. Prior to her position at CAC, Rachel held several research and strategic communications roles across the federal policy and advocacy space at American Bridge 21st Century (AB21). Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University. 

“After several years of advocacy work at the federal level, I am so excited for the opportunity to work with our Climate Mayors to show we can govern with the urgency the climate crisis requires, ” said Paris. “I’m especially thrilled to work with local leaders, as cities will play a critical role in delivering the full potential of the recently passed climate and infrastructure bills.”

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About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of over 500 U.S. city mayors who have committed to fighting climate change. Originally founded in 2014 by 3 mayors, the network’s ranks swelled to almost 400 mayors in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in June 2017. Climate Mayors is committed to accelerating equitable climate action to help each member city achieve their climate goals, while working together city-to-city, with states, and the Biden administration to increase national climate ambition. For more information, please visit HTTPS://CLIMATEMAYORS.ORG/ and follow Climate Mayors on TWITTER and LINKEDIN.

Media Contact:

CLIMATEMAYORS@FGSGLOBAL.COM   

Climate Mayors Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act Celebration Ceremony

After Climate Mayors gathered at the White House to celebrate the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, Climate Mayors Chair Sylvester Turner and Co-Chair Kate Gallego issued the following statement: 

It was great to hear from fellow mayors, President Biden, Vice President Harris and others how the Inflation Reduction Act can help us achieve our climate targets and become a model for cities around the country,” said Mayor of Houston, TX and Climate Mayors Chair Sylvester Turner “Climate Mayors and respective cities alike face unique challenges presented by the climate crisis. At last we have the federal resources to confront these threats head on and shape a sustainable, safe and equitable future for our communities.”

Phoenix Mayor and Climate Mayors Co-Chair Kate Gallego adds, “cities have been on the frontlines of the climate crisis for decades, so the passage of this historic legislation could not have come soon enough. Climate Mayors thanks President Biden and Senator Schumer for bringing this bill to pass, and we look forward to the bright future of climate solutions, lower energy bills, and job creation to come. As the celebration concludes, the work starts now.”

Climate Mayors Statement on the Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act

In response to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Climate Mayors Chair and Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner issued the following statement:  

“The Inflation Reduction Act is the biggest investment by Congress to address and accelerate climate action in U.S history, and a massive victory for cities and towns around the country. At last, local leaders will be granted the influx of tools and resources needed to combat the climate crisis, create jobs, and address environmental injustice in our communities.

Mayors have long been at the frontlines of the climate crisis, doing what we can to move our communities and country closer to the Paris Agreement goals. This bill will be an incredible boost to those efforts. The funding outlined in this bill will allow cities around the country to bolster their clean energy capacity, restore manufacturing jobs, lower energy costs, and address pollution in marginalized communities.

This legislation comes not a moment too soon as our cities grapple with extreme heat and an impending hurricane season that grows more devastating with each passing year. Thank you to President Biden, Senator Schumer, and leaders in the Senate and House for working tirelessly to get this bill across the finish line. There’s more to do, but help is finally on the way, and we look forward to shaping the clean energy economy of the future.”

Open Letter from Climate Mayors Leadership on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer,

We, the leadership of Climate Mayors, a network of more than 500 U.S. mayors across the country committed to climate leadership and progress in cities, write urging you to act swiftly to pass the Inflation Reduction Act and deliver critical climate and clean energy investments to communities around the country. 

While we await bold federal climate action, our cities, frontline communities, and other overburdened communities have had their lives, livelihoods, and homes threatened by the impacts of the climate crisis. This landmark piece of legislation will finally provide local leaders with the resources and tools to implement cleaner, more sustainable, and more equitable climate solutions. Cities have made tremendous climate progress in recent years but we can only go so far – this legislation will ensure our country delivers on our climate commitments to the American people and the world.

Passing legislation in Congress remains the surest and most durable path to giving local communities the necessary support to reduce pollution, create jobs, and build clean, affordable infrastructure.

Any delay in the passage of the IRA will only exacerbate the problems our cities face because of the climate crisis. We cannot let this opportunity for tangible climate action pass us by.

Signed,

Sylvester Turner

Mayor, City of Houston

Kate Gallego

Mayor, City of Phoenix

Satya Rhodes-Conway

Mayor, City of Madison

Climate Mayors Statement on the Proposed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 

 

In response to the announcement of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Climate Mayors Chair and Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner issued the following statement:  

“The proposed Inflation Reduction Act 2022 is a historic advancement for climate and clean energy in the United States. For years, mayors, governors, activists, businesses, and the scientific community have sounded the alarm for bold climate legislation at the federal level. At last, that day has arrived.

“This bill will provide the necessary funding to advance clean energy projects around the country, clean up communities impacted by decades of pollution, help everyday consumers save on their energy expenses, and create millions of jobs. Federal investments in climate and clean energy will finally provide local leaders with the resources and tools to implement their vision for cleaner, more sustainable, and more equitable communities. Cities have made tremendous climate progress in recent years but we can only go so far – this legislation will help ensure our country delivers on our climate commitments to the world.

“Congress must not delay in passing this landmark investment in our clean energy and economic future. The Senate and House must take this bill up swiftly – we cannot wait any longer.”

 

CLIMATE MAYORS’ LEADERSHIP ANNOUNCES HIRING OF NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMITS TO ACCELERATING EQUITABLE CLIMATE ACTION IN NEARLY 500 MEMBER CITIES

Kate Wright Appointed Executive Director as Climate Mayors Focus on Cities Deploying Historic Federal Investment in EV Charging Infrastructure & Resiliency

March 9, 2022 — The mayoral leadership and board of directors of Climate Mayors—a growing network of nearly 500 U.S. mayors who have committed to accelerating equitable climate action in cities—announced today the appointment of Kate Wright as its new executive director. Wright joins Climate Mayors from CivicWell (formerly the Local Government Commission), where she worked with city and other local government leaders to spearhead environmental initiatives on climate resilience, clean mobility, sustainable water management, livable communities, renewable energy, and affordable housing.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kate Wright as Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. I am confident she will help grow the organization and bring additional resources to help U.S. mayors accelerate equitable climate action in cities,” said Sylvester Turner, Climate Mayors Chair and Mayor of Houston. “Climate Mayors is the leading organization helping U.S. cities meet the urgency of the climate crisis. As we enter our next chapter, Kate’s knowledge and experience working with local leaders will be pivotal in advancing solutions in communities across the country. and working more closely with the Biden Administration to ensure we invest in our communities through E.V. charging and other critical climate action.”

“After the board conducted a nationwide search with hundreds of applicants, we are excited to have Kate help the Climate Mayors meet this critical moment,” said Matt Petersen, President of the Climate Mayors board of directors. “With her decade of leadership at CivicWell and working with local governments, the board is confident Kate will help Climate Mayors attract increased resources, grow an experienced staff, and create dynamic programming.”

“Kate has been a powerful local leader on climate issues, and I know she is the right person to lead Climate Mayors into their next chapter. I’m proud of what we have been able to achieve together for Sacramento and California with CivicWell and the Mayors’ Commission on Climate Change, and look forward to seeing the impact she’ll have with this national network,” said Climate Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Mayor of Sacramento, CA.

Led by Chair and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Vice-Chairs Mayors Kate Gallego of Phoenix and Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, Climate Mayors has grown since its founding in 2014 from 3 mayors to nearly 500 mayors from 48 states today. The leadership of Climate Mayors has created a new governance structure that includes a renewed steering committee, an expanded board of directors, and annual elections of officers. Mayors Turner, Gallego, and Rhodes-Conway recently met with senior DOE and DOT officials, including Secretary Pete Buttigieg, reaffirming their commitment to working with the Biden Administration to ensure funding for EV charging, resiliency, and other investments—thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—meets the needs of cities. On the heels of the latest IPCC report, Climate Mayors stand ready to implement solutions in their communities to build resilience and sustainability.

“It’s been such an honor to lead CivicWell for almost a decade, developing the CivicSpark AmeriCorps program and the California Adaptation Forum and other impactful programs advancing climate resilience. I am now thrilled to take this experience to lead Climate Mayors at such an exciting time for local leadership,” said Wright. “All across the nation, Climate Mayors are responding to the urgency of climate change by reimagining how we power, build and move throughout cities. These living laboratories are fostering the next generation of solutions that will be replicated across the globe, catalyzing the virtuous cycle of innovation needed to ensure long-term community resiliency and prosperity.”

Climate Mayors and its work to accelerate equitable climate action cities across the country is made possible in great part thanks to Bloomberg Philanthropies. Microsoft has committed to underwrite the annual Climate Mayors symposium, scheduled for June 2, 2022 in Reno, NV.

 

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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 by 3 mayors, the network’s ranks swelled to almost 400 mayors in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement in June 2017. Climate Mayors is committed to accelerating equitable climate action to help each member city achieve their climate goals, while working together city-to-city, with states, and the Biden administration to increase national climate ambition. For more information, please visit WWW.CLIMATEMAYORS.ORG.

About CivicWell

CivicWell, formerly the Local Government Commission, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supporting sustainable policies and the community leaders who implement them. It inspires, equips, connects, and cultivates leadership for local innovation and community change, especially for leaders responding to the climate crisis and its impacts on their communities. Since 1982, CivicWell has engaged local elected officials, government agencies, and community-based organizations through policy guidance, collaborative partnerships and coalitions, and direct assistance.

 

Mayor Turner, Climate Mayors Call on Congressional Leadership to Pass Federal Legislation that Supports Local Climate Action and Resilient Infrastructure

July 13, 2021 – Today, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Chair of Climate Mayors, led 146 Mayors from the Climate Mayors network in sending a letter to Congressional leadership calling for the passage of an infrastructure and economic recovery package that supports the critical work of America’s towns and cities to address climate change, create economic opportunity, and confront environmental injustice.

In the letter to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McCarthy, and Minority Leader McConnell, the Climate Mayors lay out their priorities for federal legislation, including:

  1. Prioritize and expand programs where funds flow directly to cities from the federal government.
  2. Prioritize local government-led processes for federal funds that flow to the states to improve inclusivity and accountability.
  3. Ensure that federal programs and funding prioritize disadvantaged communities and allow sufficient administrative and implementation flexibility to meet local needs.
  4. Ensure that federal spending is accompanied by workforce standards that prioritize job quality and equitable access to well-paying high road careers.

“Climate Mayors are committed to rebuilding stronger communities that address structural inequities, create opportunity for hard-working Americans, and tackle an increasingly destabilizing climate. But we cannot create sustainable and resilient cities on our own. We need federal action that includes targeted investments in American cities and towns to build out our nation’s critical infrastructure create a clean energy future that benefits all our communities,” said Mayor Turner.

“In Madison and in cities across the U.S., communities are facing the effects of our changing climate head-on, but we need support from Congress now to overcome barriers, build capacity, and scale solutions,” said Mayor Rhodes Conway, Climate Mayors Co-Chair.  “Every town and city must invest in infrastructure and programs that help build resilience to a shifting climate and act immediately to mitigate against further harm. There is no time to waste; we need Congress to prioritize funding that gives local governments the ability to identify and act on the most effective ways to deploy resources to support resilience in our communities.”

“In Phoenix, we are focused on innovating solutions that protect all of our communities from the serious impacts a changing climate is having on our city,” said Mayor Kate Gallego, Climate Mayors Co-Chair. “Yet as severe as the heat is here in Phoenix, my colleagues are dealing with equally challenging problems like flooding in the Midwest or the increasingly damaging hurricanes on the East Coast. Cities face specific challenges unique to their socio-geographical areas, which means we need flexible funding from Congress to solve them. With adequate resources, Mayors and local governments across the U.S. are ready to implement the essential climate solutions that best fit our needs.”

In April, Climate Mayors released a forward-looking report summarizing the key takeaways from the National Dialogue On Green And Equitable Recovery Series and highlighting tangible solutions for a green and just economic recovery in cities across the United States. The report also makes the case for –and lays out how the federal government can be partners in –moving local climate priorities forward.

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

The full letter sent to Congressional leadership can be found HERE.

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About Climate Mayors

Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 476 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 Call for Green and Equitable National Recovery

Letter from Climate Mayors Chair and Co-Chairs

We are at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. We face one of the greatest opportunities our generation has ever seen both for sustainable and equitable economic growth and for the reduction of greenhouse gases – and we must seize it.

Climate Mayors – a bipartisan network of over 470 U.S. mayors – is playing a leading role to preserve our environment, create well-paying green jobs, invest in clean air, clean water, and clean energy, and uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level. This commitment remains steadfast even in these challenging times, and we will continue to prioritize policies and programs that help build a better, more sustainable future.

Cities across America have long demonstrated that economic growth and environmental stewardship go hand in hand. Now, our federal government can show the world that investments in a zero-carbon 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.

Cities throughout the United States are under tremendous pressure. In the face of the immediate crises – as well as the omnipresent threat of climate change – we encourage policymakers to look to local governments and communities to find meaningful solutions to these shared challenges. If fully funded, effectively implemented, and flexible enough to be adapted locally, the policies highlighted in this report will have a lasting impact on our ability to meet the scope and scale of the challenges before us.

This report highlights key policy priorities and local success stories that are contributing to a green and equitable recovery and have a demonstrated track record of creating jobs and building resilience. We would like to thank RMI for authoring the report, and Bloomberg Philanthropies for their long-standing support of Climate Mayors.

Respectfully,

Mayor Sylvester Turner
City of Houston, TX
Chair

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway
City of Madison, WI
Co-Chair

Mayor Kate Gallego
City of Phoenix, AZ
Co-Chair

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

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

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

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

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

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