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.


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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


Infrastructure Week – Climate Mayors Special Report

Mayors have long been leading the charge on climate and at last, we have necessary support from the federal government to be even more ambitious with our local climate action. This is a historic moment for climate action in cities – we have the chance to go beyond our current emissions reduction targets. Climate Mayors across the country are meeting the moment and advancing sustainable infrastructure projects to help their cities adapt to the challenges of climate change. As Accelerator for America celebrates Infrastructure Week to highlight the benefits of, and ongoing need for increased investment in pipes, ports, roads, rails, and other infrastructure, Climate Mayors is recognizing how sustainable infrastructure projects can bolster resilience to extreme weather and climate change, boost clean energy jobs, strengthen and modernize our electric grid, and advance environmental justice:

Mayor LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans, LA – Resilience

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and The City of New Orleans secured funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for Bayou Bienvenue Central Wetlands project in the Lower 9th Ward. The Bayou Bienvenue Wetlands and surrounding communities suffered significant devastation by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. These funds will help the city get through significant public outreach and planning to restore and create natural buffers to help reduce the impacts of storms, rising sea levels, and other extreme weather events made worse by climate change. 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure law made $10 million in funding available for habitat restoration and resilience awards for underserved communities through National Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Grants


Mayor Justin Bibb, Cleveland, OH – Workforce Development

Mayor Justin Bibb is using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to help the City of Cleveland to invest in critical workforce development infrastructure that will provide the backbone for maximizing the benefits of federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS Act and Inflation Reduction Act. The workforce development programs will bolster the pipeline of workers ready to build out the city’s green infrastructure, remediate brownfields, and deliver a clean energy economy.

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act provided billions of direct and flexible aid to America’s cities to support pandemic relief and spur economic recovery. 


Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Madison, WI – Public Transit

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Madison, WI, are taking advantage of federal dollars, including funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to purchase 46 electric buses for the bus rapid transit program set to transform public transit in the city. The new all-electric rapid transit system will reduce travel times, better connect major employers and key parts of the city, increase mobility options, reduce pollution, and put the city on track to meet its climate goals. President Biden is right, “It’s a big deal”.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $5.6 billion in funding to support the replacement of transit vehicles with low- and no-emission vehicles through the Low or No- Emission Bus Grants.


Mayor Kate Gallego, Phoenix, AZ – Water Security

Federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help the City of Phoenix build an advanced water recycling system, providing a crucial boost to the city’s drinking water supply. As the West sufferers from a historic drought fueled by climate change, Mayor Kate Gallego is taking advantage of federal funds to invest in infrastructure that will ensure access to the region’s most vital resource in the years to come.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $8.3 billion in Reclamation water infrastructure in the 17 Western States across nearly 20 programs to boost water security in the region.

Mayor Andre Dickens, Atlanta, GA – Environmental Justice

Mayor Dickens is using federal funding to re-connect neighborhoods and build a sense of community. The Stitch, an infrastructure project in Downtown Atlanta aiming to reconnect divided communities and restore environmental justice, received federal funding from the Reconnecting Communities program of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The project will create a 14-acre green space park, provide affordable housing and transportation, and right historic wrongs over Interstate 75/85 intersection that deliberately divided a historically black community in the 1950s. 

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included historic funding to help reconnect communities through the Reconnecting Cities Pilot Program with a focus on prioritizing environmental justice communities.


Mayor Tim Keller, Albuquerque, NM – Green Space and Economic Development

Nearly $11.5 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is being used to transform Albuquerque’s defunct downtown rail line into a green pedestrian parkway that will reinvigorate the local economy and promote community connectivity. The Rail Trail envisions sustainable infrastructure that manages stormwater, features native plant species, and offers shade for visitors all while promoting economic development. Mayor Tim Keller is demonstrating how sustainability and economic development can go hand in hand.

RAISE Discretionary Grant Program helps communities build transportation projects that have significant local or regional impact and improve safety and equity. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included a $7.5 billion boost to RAISE grant programs.

Climate Mayors Celebrates Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Successful Leadership As Chair

As mayor of the nation’s fourth-largest city and a strong advocate for climate action, Mayor Sylvester Turner ends his term as Chair of Climate Mayors with several significant accomplishments that helped to elevate the discussion on climate.

As mayor of the nation’s fourth-largest city and a strong advocate for climate action, Mayor Sylvester Turner ends his term as Chair of Climate Mayors with several significant accomplishments that helped to elevate the discussion on climate. 

Since he was first elected mayor of Houston, Texas, in December 2015, Mayor Turner has focused on key initiatives to advance climate priorities in his city and to support the work of the Biden – Harris Administration. 

As Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Turner has led the organization through a year of remarkable progress at the federal level that built on the years of leadership at the local level to develop a clean energy economy. As the job of implementing federal climate policy turns to mayors and governors, Climate Mayors is grateful to have Mayor Turner continue to help lead the organization as he transitions to Chairman Emeritus. In addition to being Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Turner is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee, Board Chairman of the Resilient Cities Network, and a member of C40 Cities.

“It’s been an honor to serve as Chair of Climate Mayors. Communities in Houston have been hit hard by extreme weather, and it has been mission critical to do our part in stopping and adapting to the climate crisis. We’ve been able to drive progress by making strategic investments in climate resilience, electrification of the transportation sector and renewable energy,” said Mayor Turner. “I know Climate Mayors will continue to be a leading force in facing the climate crisis and championing the health and prosperity of U.S. cities.”

As Mayor of Houston, Mayor Turner made the city more resilient, sustainable, and equitable over his two terms. Launched in 2020, the Resilient Houston strategy and Houston’s Climate Action Plan identify specific actions to rise above challenges, emphasizing the most vulnerable populations. Since then, Turner’s efforts have created new programs, projects, and policies that help Houston prepare, adapt, and recover from shocks and stresses like the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather, and systemic inequities. Mayor Turner undoubtedly positioned Houston as a leader in resilience and demonstrated the city’s commitment to build forward and build better, even in the face of economic and climate challenges.

Highlights of his climate leadership:

  • Launched Resilient Houston in February 2020 to provide a framework to protect Houston against future disasters – from hurricanes to extreme heat waves – and chronic stresses such as aging infrastructure, poor air quality, and flooding. Resilient Houston set 18 high-level targets, corresponding with the strategy’s 18 goals that will be used to measure the progress and impact of the city’s resilience work from now to 2050. Turner’s leadership helped the city deliver 3 of the 18 targets over the last 2 years and set the city up to continue making progress toward the goals.
  • Released Houston’s first Climate Action Plan in April of 2020 to meet the Paris Agreement goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, improve air quality, build climate resilience, and leverage Houston’s role as a leader of the global energy transition. In just two years, Turner led the city to complete 3 of the Climate Action Plan’s 12 targets and created a path to achieve all the targets in the years to come.
  • Negotiated a new retail electricity contract. As of July 2020, all of Houston’s municipal buildings are 100% powered by renewables, and the City purchases more renewables than any other city in the country.
  • Led the establishment and passage of a historic decarbonization policy for Houston’s buildings, recognizing that buildings in Houston are responsible for 40% of both municipal and city-wide emissions. By implementing the decarbonization policy, Houston is estimated to prevent over 40% of the City’s direct and indirect emissions by 2030 and produce unprecedented energy savings for building owners and occupants.
  • Released the “Living with Water” strategy in 2020, invested over 780 million in drainage infrastructure – with a focus on Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) – to adapt Houston to a changing climate, and created the GSI Tax Abatement program to encourage the implementation of green stormwater infrastructure in private development.
  • Created the Complete Communities initiative to revitalize and improve Houston’s most under-served neighborhoods by partnering with local stakeholders to leverage resources to create a more equitable and prosperous city for all Houstonians.
  • Worked with the City Council to purchase nearly 100 battery electric vehicles to replace the City of Houston’s current aging fleet of internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, furthering progress towards a goal of the Houston Climate Action Plan to convert all non-emergency, light-duty municipal vehicles to electric by 2030.
  • Developed the Sunnyside Landfill Solar Project as a shining example of collaboration with the energy industry and community residents. The project will transform a 240-acre former landfill that has sat dormant for more than 50 years into the largest urban solar farm in the U.S. The project addresses long-standing environmental justice challenges and revitalizes a historically underserved and under-resourced community as part of the energy transition, generating clean energy, and creating jobs and training opportunities in one of the fastest growing job markets today.
  • Founded the nonprofit Evolve Houston and partnered with it to establish an all-new Equity Program. As part of this program, the eMobility Microgrant Initiative awards microgrants to local electromobility projects that address community mobility needs and e-mobility access in the Greater Houston area.
  • Led by example and inspired Houston’s business community to join in the ambition to lead the global energy transition, fostering public-private partnerships, promoting energy innovation and attracting CleanTech incubators such as GreenTown Labs, and working with the private sector to scale up clean hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) developments.
  • In 2021, Mayor Turner traveled to Scotland, United Kingdom for the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, or COP 26. He joined world leaders and mayors from across the world,  met with National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, and attended the Climate Breakfast with Mayors featuring Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.



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Climate Mayors Announces New Policy Director to Help City Leaders Navigate Climate Legislation

Meghan Pazik joins Climate Mayors as the new Policy Director to help lead member cities into thoughtful policy creation and program implementation.

November 16, 2022 — Today, Climate Mayors, a network of over 500 U.S. mayors across the country committed to climate leadership and progress in their cities, announced the appointment of Meghan Pazik as its new Policy Director.

Pazik joins Climate Mayors after working on Capitol Hill, most recently as a Legislative Assistant for the Office of Congresswoman Julia Brownley (CA-26). Here, Pazik led several climate initiatives, including assisting the Congresswoman on her work with the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and Natural Resources Committee. Prior to her work with Congresswoman Brownley, Pazik was a Legislative Assistant for the Office of Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06), where she worked across energy and environment programs to pass pertinent climate legislation. Meghan holds an MS in Energy and Climate Policy from John Hopkins University. From Loyola University, Meghan earned a BA in Environmental Studies and BA in Communications.

“I am excited to be working with a dedicated network of mayors and diverse stakeholders on climate action,” said Pazik. “Local leaders are at the center of combating the climate crisis. I am proud to help communities across the country implement the largest federal climate investments in history.”


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 and follow Climate Mayors on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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