Climate Mayors closes out the year by welcoming a new leadership team to drive local climate action in 2024.
December 12, 2023 — Today, Climate Mayors ushered in its new leadership team to supercharge climate action in 2024. With Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison concluding her term as Chair of the organization, Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland, Ohio will carry the torch in 2024. He will lead alongside Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona, who has held her Vice-Chair position since 2021, and new incoming Vice-Chair, Mayor Lauren McLean of Boise, Idaho. These admirable leaders have served as models for city-led climate solutions and are positioned to continue their leadership with an acute focus on environmental justice, building and fleet electrification, and public health and safety.
Climate Mayors thanks the outgoing Chair Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway for her dedication to climate action and impactful organizational leadership in 2024. Mayor Rhodes-Conway represented Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and provided the organization with a strong foundation moving into 2024 — encouraging mayors to work together to cultivate new climate solutions, implement game changing federal funding, and promote climate justice in communities across the country.
The first millennial Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio since 2022 and Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors for the past year, Mayor Justin Bibb has worked tirelessly to advance key policy initiatives that support cities and elevate local voices at the federal level. Mayor Bibb emphasizes the crucial role of local leadership in leveraging historical federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and taking meaningful and equitable climate action in cities like Cleveland, which continue to experience climate vulnerability as a result of historic disinvestment.
With climate justice at the heart of his platform, Mayor Bibb works to represent and uplift the concerns of community members who have experienced adverse effects to health and wellbeing as a result of climate change. To ensure this remains of priority, he appointed Cleveland’s first Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice during his first year as mayor. Mayor Bibb has continued to prioritize environmental justice by advancing affordable solar energy for low and moderate-income families in the city, championing the 15-minute city framework as an economic and climate justice policy that connects communities while decreasing transportation emissions and air pollutants, and mobilizing historic federal funding to take multi-level action in order to rapidly decarbonize the Greater Cleveland region. Mayor Bibb also passed an improved Complete and Green Streets Ordinance, which calls for a restructuring of Cleveland’s roads to prioritize people over cars, and is working to reduce flooding and boost communities’ access to water and green spaces through new climate resilience proposals.
As Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Bibb has highlighted three priorities for his one-year term:
- Increase the recognition of Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and showcase city success stories.
- Build up funding infrastructure for the organization.
- Emphasize and empower regional engagement with peer mayors.
- Ensure federal funding benefits communities of color and those most vulnerable to climate change
“I am honored to step into the role of Climate Mayors Chair and to champion ambitious climate action for more just and sustainable cities,” said Mayor Bibb. “With this platform, I will work together with fellow Climate Mayors, the federal government, public and private institutions, and community-based organizations to leverage historic federal funding in a way that benefits communities across the country – particularly those that are most vulnerable to climate impacts due to historic injustices.”
Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix, Arizona has held office since 2019, serving as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors since 2020 and Vice-Chair of C40 Cities since 2021. Continuing her role as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors in 2024, Mayor Gallego emphasizes that Climate Mayors must have a strong voice in advocating for a sustained commitment to the promises made in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
“Cities have long led on the forefront of climate change solutions – and with more federal funding flowing than ever, we’re taking our commitments to new heights,” said Mayor Gallego. “I am excited to continue my role as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors to serve Phoenix and the nation at large, especially at such a pivotal time. Together with Mayors Bibb and McLean, I am committed to leveraging the Climate Mayors network to advance people-first climate initiatives that meet the unique needs of our communities.”
As the first woman to be elected as mayor of Boise in 2019, Mayor Lauren McLean is no stranger to breaking barriers and raising ambitions. In her time as mayor, she has proved her steadfast commitment to advancing localized climate solutions – believing strongly that mayors, local governments, and tribes know best what residents and communities need to be prepared for climate impacts now and in the future.
“Climate Mayors is providing crucial guidance to city leaders across the country to access funds and pool resources and knowledge to advance meaningful climate solutions,” said Mayor McLean. “The role of local governments in creating a climate ready future for our kids and theirs cannot be understated, as we hear from our residents every day how important this work is to them. I am thrilled to join Mayors Bibb and Gallego on the leadership team and to continue this essential work for Boise and beyond.”
“It’s been an honor to serve as the Chair of such a future-forward organization that’s dedicated to helping mayors act on climate solutions,” said Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “Cities are a critical actor in climate action, and mayors have the ambition to achieve climate goals. Organizations like Climate Mayors help grow local efforts through the exchange of ideas and tools for implementation, while also amplifying the voices of cities nationally. I’m pleased to see the progress we’ve made together in 2023, and am excited to see Climate Mayors continue to grow in the years to come.”
“Climate Mayors is thrilled to welcome these three outstanding mayors to our leadership team as they integrate their fresh and diverse perspectives into the vision of our organization,” said Kate Wright, Climate Mayors’ Executive Director. “With the leadership of Mayors Bibb, Gallego, and McLean we will continue to challenge ourselves to ramp up decarbonization, climate justice, and community resilience in 2024 while providing a network of support to local leaders – laying the foundation for healthier and more sustainable cities across the country.”
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.
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