Climate Mayors Statement on the Five-Year Anniversary of Paris Climate Agreement

DECEMBER 11, 2020 — Today, the Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of U.S. mayors working to combat climate change through meaningful actions in their communities, issued the following statement in regards to the fifth anniversary of the landmark agreement at the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 to combat climate change:

“As mayors, we’re close to the people we serve. We see how climate change is already impacting the residents in our cities, and we know how important it is to take decisive action for the sake of public safety and public health. American cities have long led on climate action in the U.S., especially in the absence of national climate leadership over the last four years.

“When the stakes couldn’t be higher, we are pleased to usher in a new federal administration committed to urgent, bold climate policies that are necessary to protect human civilization and beat the ten-year clock counting down to massive, irreparable climate disruption.

“As we approach the five-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement, Climate Mayors members once again reaffirm our commitment to upholding the Agreement and look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to accelerate our ongoing efforts to curb emissions and prevent the worst effects of climate change. Mayors rallied in support of the Agreement in 2017 when the administration first announced the U.S. would withdraw. Now over 460 Climate Mayors remain committed to upholding the Agreement and to pursuing ambitious action in their communities and around the world.

“Coordinated climate action is more necessary now than ever. This year, our cities have faced many crises at once: an increasingly warmer climate, the global public health emergency of COVID-19, a profound economic crisis, and a national reckoning with racial inequity. As we stated in our letter to Congressional leadership in July, and reinforced throughout our National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery series over the past six months, Climate Mayors are urging the incoming administration and federal policymakers to tackle these crises together based on the following principles:

  1. Build for a Better Future: Returning to the status quo is not sufficient in meeting the challenges of climate change and inequities in our society. We must increase our resolve and ambition to reinvest in America’s communities.
  2. Lead with Equity: Federal investments in our municipalities must prioritize those communities who have been left behind, and frontline communities and people of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and COVID-19.
  3. Prioritize Multiple Benefits: The best investments will create jobs, strengthen community cohesion and resilience, and improve health outcomes in our cities and towns.

“COVID-19 has made it clear that we need to plan for the future, we need to listen to scientists, and we need to make sustainability a fundamental value of our society. Everything we want to accomplish right now — public health, public safety, racial justice, economic growth, and an equitable recovery from COVID-19 — all depends on a healthy environment. Climate action is the best investment we can make in our cities, our nation, and the world to ensure a sustainable, just, and resilient future.”