The livestream panel was the fifth in the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery, and focused on how the federal government can support and accelerate climate policies that have been successful in cities around the country
Watch the full discussion HERE.
November 17, 2020 – Today, Climate Mayors Chair Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Steering Committee Member New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and U.S. Director of World Resources Institute (WRI) Dan Lashof participated in a panel discussion as part of the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on Green and Equitable Recovery. The discussion focused on climate action needed at all levels of government during COVID-19 and the future of U.S. climate policy.
Today’s conversation was the fifth in a Climate Mayors event series advocating for national leadership to prioritize recovery policies that are environmentally sustainable and socially just in the time of COVID-19, and the first in the series to discuss the future of U.S. climate action in the wake of the presidential election. The discussion was moderated by Justin Worland, senior correspondent for TIME Magazine covering climate change and the environment.
“There are many parallels between the COVID-19 crisis and the climate crisis,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “COVID-19 has made it clear how important it is that we plan for the future; listen to the scientists; and make sustainability a fundamental value of our society. It’s also shown us how important it is for us to work together. Our national recovery from COVID-19 must be rooted in green, equitable solutions that create opportunities for populations that have been hit hardest by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism. Cities have long been leaders in this work, and will continue to do so through coalitions like the Climate Mayors. Today’s discussion was an opportunity to discuss our shared goals moving forward, and I look forward to leading many more of these conversations in the months ahead, as the Climate Mayors’ new Chair.”
“As we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic and with climate change, our cities have been at the forefront of the impacts, and the needs far exceed the resources available,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “Both ongoing crises demand equitable solutions across the board, and we need leadership with a plan to address them. This is why conversations across different areas and sectors will be critical in developing future-oriented solutions for an equitable and green recovery.”
“For the last 4 years climate leadership in the United States has, of necessity, come from cities, states, and companies,” said Dan Lashof, U.S. Director of World Resources Institute. “With an incoming federal administration committed to build back better from COVID-19 by prioritizing climate action, leadership from Climate Mayors will remain essential to tackling the climate crisis at the pace and scale required by science and expected by citizens and the international community.”
Mayors and their partners highlighted how environmental initiatives stimulate local economies, create jobs, improve public health, and reduce carbon emissions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants also discussed the ways that sustainability policies can prioritize frontline communities and communities of color that are more likely to be affected by pollution and the negative impacts of climate change.
“As we usher in an administration committed to upholding the Paris Agreement and reversing the current administration’s harmful environmental rollbacks, we must not lose sight of our call to action for a just and sustainable economic recovery,” said James Ritchotte, Director of Climate Mayors. “A green economic stimulus isn’t just an investment in our planet — it’s an investment in our economy, our public health, and the long-term prosperity of our country. This year, mayors across the country have shown leadership on the frontlines of the climate crisis, the racial justice crisis, the economic crisis and the public health crisis. And as we prepare for a new year and a new administration, Climate Mayors are eager to partner with the federal government on solutions that build resilience and address all of these crises simultaneously.”
Earlier events in the series featured Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin, and U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (watch the Southeast event here); Texas leaders Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg (watch the Texas event here); Great Lakes leaders Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (listen to the full Great Lakes event here); and Ohio Valley leaders Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, and Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown (watch the Ohio Valley event here).
For more Information on the Climate Mayors network, please visit www.climatemayors.org.
About Climate Mayors
Representing over 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a peer-to-peer network of 468 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 Trump administration’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. Climate Mayors was founded by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and is Chaired by Martin J. Walsh (Boston) and Co-Chaired by Sylvester Turner (Houston). For more information, visit www.climatemayors.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.