​​Climate Mayors Welcomes 2024 Leadership Team

Climate Mayors closes out the year by welcoming a new leadership team and looking ahead to key 2024 climate action priorities

December 12, 2023 – Today, Climate Mayors looked to the future as it ushered in its new leadership team and honed in on new pathways 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 take over as Chair for the 2024 year. Having served as Vice-Chair in 2023, he will continue to build his climate legacy as a strong advocate for elevating local climate leadership. 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 will round out the Climate Mayors leadership team. 

Over the past year, cities have begun to feel the transformative impacts of federal investments like the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 2024 will be another crucial year to further accelerate climate action, with no time left to waste in implementing ambitious plans to reduce emissions and build more climate-resilient communities across the country. These admirable leaders have served as models for city-led solutions to the climate crisis, and are positioned to continue their leadership with an acute focus on issues such as environmental justice, building and fleet electrification, and public health and safety over the next year.

The first millennial Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Mayor Justin Bibb has served as mayor since 2022. As Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors for the past year, Mayor Bibb has worked tirelessly to advance key policy initiatives that support cities and elevate local voices at the federal level. Mayor Bibb has emphasized 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.

As an elected leader devoted to advancing racial, social, and health equity in his hometown, Bibb has highlighted the importance of public-private collaboration and maintained strong ties to community-based organizations focused on achieving the change that Cleveland communities want and need to see in their city. 

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: 

  1. Increase the recognition of Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and showcasing city success stories
  2. Build up funding infrastructure for the organization
  3. Emphasize and empower regional engagement with peer mayors
  4. 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 continue 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 action must be prioritized in local, state, and federal elections and 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).

On the local level, Mayor Gallego aims to make Phoenix the most sustainable desert city on the planet – and that means tackling the dual challenge of heat and water. Phoenix was the first city in the country to take the American Forests’ Tree Equity Pledge in 2021, a commitment that all neighborhoods achieve a standard of shade cover by 2030. Under Gallego’s leadership, Phoenix established the first publicly funded Office of Heat Response and Mitigation in the nation to drive innovative strategies for a cooler, more comfortable city.  

Additionally, new water conservation policies and regional working groups aim to build common ground among Western mayors and local officials to uplift conservation successes that demonstrate a shared commitment to reducing dependence on the strained Colorado River. Phoenix is instituting conservation measures at all scales – from Sustainable Desert Development policies that significantly reduce water use in new construction, to incentivizing residents to adopt native desert vegetation and efficient appliances. 

Going into her 3rd year as Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Gallego has identified three key priorities for 2024: 

  1. Sustain commitments of Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and highlighting local implementation success stories
  2. Continue to uplift and support the efforts of the Western Water Security regional working group
  3. Expand meaningful engagement opportunities for Climate Mayors members

“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.”

In 2019, Lauren McLean became the first woman to be elected Mayor of Boise. 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.

Mayor McLean has seen the worsening climate impacts first hand in Boise. Last summer, the city experienced its second hottest summer, with nearly twice as many days over 100 degrees than 30 years ago. But under McLean’s leadership, the city has fought climate change ambitiously — especially through the city’s goal to be powered by 100% clean electricity for its government operations by 2030, which Boise is on track to meet five to six years early

In 2021, Mayor McLean joined The America the Beautiful initiative, a coalition of 70 mayors committed to conserving 30 percent of American lands by 2030. McLean has worked to build out Boise’s program to protect 30 percent of open space and parks – specifically with the plan to double the city’s tree canopy. And looking to future generations, mayor McLean launched the Youth Climate Action Council, which unites young people from across Boise to take action on climate issues with creative projects. 

As incoming Vice-Chair, Mayor McLean highlighted 2 key priorities for the 2024 year:

  1. Ensure that crucial funds for climate action flow directly to cities, particularly for those in traditionally red states.
  2. Cultivate new ways for Climate Mayors to connect and leverage expertise between member cities, and continue empowering cities to advance climate priorities.

“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.”

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For media inquiries please contact climatemayors@fgsglobal.com 

Climate Mayors Announces New Chair, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb

At a virtual convening today, Climate Mayors announced their new Chair to drive local climate action in 2024

December 12, 2023 – Today, Climate Mayors looked to the future as it ushered in its new leadership team and honed in on new pathways to supercharge climate action in 2024. With Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison concluding term as Chair of the organization, Mayor Justin Bibb of Cleveland, Ohio will take over as Chair for the 2024 year. Having served as Vice-Chair in 2023, he will continue to build his climate legacy as a strong advocate for elevating local climate leadership. 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 will round out the Climate Mayors leadership team. 

The first millennial Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Mayor Justin Bibb has served as mayor since 2022. As Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors for the past year, Mayor Bibb has worked tirelessly to advance key policy initiatives that support cities and elevate local voices at the federal level. Mayor Bibb has emphasized 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.

As an elected leader devoted to advancing racial, social, and health equity in his hometown, Bibb has highlighted the importance of public-private collaboration and maintained strong ties to community-based organizations focused on achieving the change that Cleveland communities want and need to see in their city. 

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.

Having such robust experience in implementing policies and projects, Mayor Bibb is sure to contribute to the momentum and scale of fellow Climate Mayors’ climate ambitions during his term.

As Chair of Climate Mayors, Mayor Bibb has highlighted three priorities for his one-year term: 

  1. Increase the recognition of Climate Mayors at the national and international levels and showcasing city success stories
  2. Build up funding infrastructure for the organization
  3. Emphasize and empower regional engagement with peer mayors
  4. Ensure federal funding benefits communities of color and those most vulnerable to climate change 

The Climate Mayors is proud to welcome the leadership and innovation of Mayor Bibb as the youngest Chair of our organization. As the world inches closer to reaching irreversible climate tipping points, we acknowledge that there is no time to waste. We must meet the moment and address the climate crisis with urgency and tact – that work continues today. 

“I am honored to step into the role of Climate Mayors Chair and to continue 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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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For media inquiries please contact climatemayors@fgsglobal.com




 

Climate Mayors Celebrates Outgoing Chair Mayor Satya Rhodes–Conway

Mayor Rhodes-Conway ends her term as Chair after driving organization-wide progress and climate solutions in 2023

December 12, 2023 – Today Climate Mayors celebrates its 2023 Chair, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, WI for her dedication and leadership.

She led the organization through a year of historic funding wins and groundbreaking projects, programs, and initiatives. From driving decarbonization initiatives on the home front in Wisconsin to letting her voice be heard in national opinion pieces, webinars, and interviews, our Chair always kept the climate mission front and center in her work as mayor – leading by example.

Climate Mayors thanks Mayor Rhodes-Conway for her dedication and the resulting growth of the organization. She provided the organization with a strong foundation to continue our work into 2024 as we help cities reach their climate targets, encourage mayors to work together to cultivate new solutions, implement game changing federal funding and promote climate justice in communities across the country.

Mayor Rhodes-Conway’s leadership highlights with Climate Mayors include:

  • Built connections between mayors and the organization to strengthen the value of the mayoral network and provide more mayors with helpful guidance and tools related to federal programs and climate action.
  • Invited to provide plenary remarks at the White House Summit on Building Climate-Resilient Communities to celebrate the local leaders nationwide that are helping drive us toward a more healthy, equitable and resilient future.
  • Represented Climate Mayors on the global stage at COP28 and championed for subnational and national collaboration and cooperation.
  • Represented Climate Mayors in meetings with federal officials, the private sector, and other climate organizations during New York Climate Week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and countless webinars, workshops, and panel discussions.
  • Called for protection of key climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act in a national op-ed.
  • Helped organize mayoral interaction with federal leaders, including numerous sign on letters urging Congress and the Administration to lead on climate issues. 

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 For media inquiries please contact climatemayors@fgsglobal.com

 

Climate Mayors and C40 Cities Celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law & Resulting Historic Investments in Local Infrastructure Projects

City-climate organizations laud progress made so far, and look ahead to building sustainable infrastructure and paving the way to equitable and climate resilient cities.

Today, we celebrate the second anniversary of the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – groundbreaking legislation enacted by the Biden-Harris administration which invested $550 billion for infrastructure projects, which can be directed to build an economy powered by clean energy and resilient to climate change. 

Cities play a crucial role in realizing the potential of this transformative legislation. Through this law, mayors are not just repairing roads and bridges, they are laying the foundation for an improved quality of life for residents. Climate Mayors and C40 Cities remain committed to supporting cities to leverage federal funding to catalyze innovative, climate-forward projects. Together, we will secure climate resilient infrastructure, create jobs, improve lives and protect our planet.

Over the last two years, local leaders have showcased what can be done with federal support for climate action and sustainable development. Our member mayors have mobilized millions of dollars toward projects and initiatives that deliver climate resilience, decarbonization and environmental justice on the ground. From reconnecting neighborhoods and ensuring equitable access in places like Atlanta and Houston, to electrifying bus fleets in Madison, mayors have met the moment, using federal funding to take their climate action plans to new heights.

Together, Climate Mayors, C40 Cities and our member mayors recommit ourselves to the task at hand, knowing that by working together we have the power to shape a future that is equitable, resilient, and sustainable in the face of climate change.

“Investments in clean energy, electrified transit, and climate resilience are the building blocks of our sustainable future. Thanks to the funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, that future is becoming much more tangible – but the work doesn’t stop there. On this anniversary, Climate Mayors is proud to support mayors as they take their infrastructure improvement plans further, faster.” Kate Wright, Executive Director at Climate Mayors

“Two years in, we’ve seen cities tap into infrastructure funding for meaningful climate action including buying clean electric school buses, advancing sustainable transportation options like transit, cycling, and safe walking routes for all residents, and preparing communities for climate change. We need to build on this progress to ensure the funding continues to flow toward pro-climate projects.” – Kate Johnson, Head of US Federal Affairs at C40 Cities

In Madison, we’re taking full advantage of federal dollars, including support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We’ve purchased 62 electric sixty-foot buses for a new bus rapid transit system, we’re developing a PFAS treatment facility for our drinking water, expanding numerous bike paths, converting more streetlights to efficient LEDs, improving pedestrian safety, and rebuilding an aging bridge – all thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The BIL is improving the lives of Madisonians and investing in jobs, while supporting our climate goals. I’m thrilled to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the BIL by staying committed to building sustainable infrastructure for our communities now and in the future.” — Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Chair of Climate Mayors, Madison, Wisconsin

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is making game changing infrastructure improvements in cities across the country. In Phoenix, we are leveraging federal dollars to achieve our goal of becoming the most sustainable desert city. From electrifying our bus fleet to protecting our precious water supply, this legislation has allowed us to accelerate our climate investments.” — Mayor Kate Gallego, Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors and C40 Cities Steering Committee Member, Phoenix, Arizona

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law injected crucial funding into the American economy and gave cities new means to prioritize sustainable infrastructure projects. In Ohio, we’re confronting legacy pollution and making significant progress in the clean-up and restoration of the Great Lakes’ most environmentally degraded sites, thanks to a $1 billion infusion from the BIL to the region. Securing clean water and creating good-paying jobs for residents is a real cause for celebration on this 2nd anniversary.” — Mayor Justin Bibb, Vice-Chair of Climate Mayors, Cleveland, Ohio

Signed,

Kate Wright, Executive Director at Climate Mayors

Kate Johnson, Head of US Federal Affairs at C40 Cities

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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. 

Media Contact: climatemayors@fgsglobal.com 

About C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group:

C40 is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere, can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. We work alongside a broad coalition of representatives from labour, business, the youth climate movement and civil society to support mayors to halve emissions by 2030 and help phase out fossil use while increasing urban climate resilience and equity.

The current co-chairs of C40 are Mayor Sadiq Khan of London, United Kingdom and Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr of Freetown, Sierra Leone; three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Realdania.

To learn more about the work of C40 and our cities, please visit our website or follow us on X, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

Climate Mayors Announces New Steering Committee Members to Deepen Leadership on Local Climate Action

New members to bring fresh ideas and cross-regional learning to the organization of over 350+ mayors.

October 31, 2023 Since 2014, Climate Mayors has mobilized over 750 U.S. mayors in the fight against the climate crisis, and today, the organization enhances its Steering Committee with six new members. The following six mayors: Angela Birney, Redmond, WA; Barbara Buffaloe, Columbia, MO; Thomas Roach, White Plains, NY; Frank Scott, Jr., Little Rock, AR; Caroline Simmons, Stamford, CT; and Miro Weinberger, Burlington, VT will serve as critical pillars within the Climate Mayors network and across the country. As we enter a critical year to deliver on the promises of the Biden-Harris clean energy plan in our cities, we look towards these strong climate champions to continue their clean energy, resilience and climate justice leadership.

These six mayors join the Steering Committee with returning members: Justin Bibb, Cleveland, OH; Michael P. Cahill, Beverly, MA; LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans, LA; Jane Castor, Tampa, FL; Andre Dickens, Atlanta, GA; Buddy Dyer, Orlando, FL; Jacob Frey, Minneapolis, MN; Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh, PA; Karen Bass, Los Angeles, CA; Kate Gallego, Phoenix, AZ; Jim Hovland, Edina, MN; Eric Johnson, Dallas, TX; Lioneld Jordan, Fayetteville, AR; Tim Keller, Albuquerque, NM; Indya Kincannon, Knoxville, TN; Lauren McLean, Boise, ID; Jeffrey Mims, Jr, Dayton, OH; Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio, TX; Satya Rhodes-Conway, Madison, WI; Daniel Rickenmann, Columbia, SC; Regina Romero, Tucson, AZ; Lucy Vinis, Eugene, OR; and Michelle Wu, Boston, MA. 

The Steering Committee works alongside the Climate Mayors’ Chair, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, and Vice-Chairs, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb to continue driving local climate action to create cities that not only survive but thrive in the face of the most challenging issue of our time – climate change. With the addition of these new members, the Steering Committee will continue to catalyze membership and more deeply engage their regions, in addition to showcasing how Climate Mayors are ramping up innovative energy, justice, and decarbonization projects to secure both resiliency and prosperity in cities across the U.S.

“To stay on top of an issue as complex as climate change, we must engage the best and brightest leaders who are passionate and focused on making a lasting change. At Climate Mayors, we prioritize learning, innovation and action – and that’s why we’re bringing in new leadership to our Steering Committee who will support both the mission of the organization and local communities in driving climate progress.” – Kate Wright, Executive Director of Climate Mayors

I’m thrilled to have the support and expertise of our new steering committee members as we focus on mobilizing unprecedented levels of federal funding to benefit our communities. With the addition of this diverse group of proven leaders, Climate Mayors is stronger than ever.” – Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of Madison, WI, and Climate Mayors Chair

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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. 

Media Contact: climatemayors@fgsglobal.com 

 

Climate Mayors, C40, and Urban Sustainability Directors Network Release New Paper Detailing How Partnership and Collaboration Can Maximize the Impact of Federal Climate Investments

Today, we’re excited to announce the release of the new Climate Mayors, C40, and Urban Sustainability Directors Network paper: Maximizing the Impact of Federal Climate Investments: The Unique Role of Cities. City governments are uniquely positioned to drive progress on climate action because they are the most directly connected to residents, and are nimble enough to innovate and test solutions that can scale. This new paper details how cities are key to meeting climate targets and the additional support needed to optimize the unprecedented opportunity provided through federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

There is a unique opportunity for local governments to collaborate on implementation, but there are considerable challenges to realizing the potential of BIL and IRA funding. However, other actors – the federal government, states and state agencies, the philanthropic community, and climate advocates – have the chance to take action to empower cities to unleash the full potential of federal funding. 

The paper was developed by C40 Cities, Climate Mayors, and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network as part of their partnership to support cities to access and implement funding made available through the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in order to advance ambitious climate action. Together, we will ensure that cities are ready to meet the moment.

Read the paper in its entirety HERE.