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U.S. Mayors Report Highlights a Decade of Global Climate Leadership

Matt Ball on December 7, 2015 - in Corporate, Environment

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2015—As part of the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference, COP 21, in Paris, leaders of The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) released a report from the organization’s Mayors Climate Protection Center calling attention to how U.S. mayors have been global climate leaders over the last decade. Titled U.S. Mayors Report on a Decade of Global Climate Leadership, the report was released during the Climate Change Conference’s signature event for American mayors at the residence of U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.

The official Conference delegation in Paris, which included USCM President Baltimore (MD) Mayor Rawlings-Blake, USCM Second Vice President New Orleans (LA) Mayor Mitch Landrieu, USCM Past President Burnsville (MN) Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, and USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran, discussed with reporters and others the accomplishments of the last decade. The report commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement – the landmark pledge taken by U.S. mayors to take local action to reduce carbon emissions consistent with the Kyoto Protocol. Conference leaders stressed that U.S. mayors are continuing their efforts to advance climate protection goals.

“USA Mayors and others throughout the world continue to lead and show that local climate action is meaningful and making a difference in curbing harmful carbon emissions,” said USCM President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake during the event. “A number of my mayoral colleagues are already in their second decade of climate leadership. This serves as a reminder that a big part of our success in protecting our planet will turn on how well we support and accelerate local level climate action throughout the world.”

Last week, U.S. mayors joined with hundreds of their international colleagues to present a strong voice for the need to reduce global carbon emissions and combat global climate change. For over a decade, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has led America’s mayors in aggressively pursuing local actions to aggressively curb harmful carbon emissions. In 2005, the Conference adopted the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which started with 141 mayors representing the countries signed onto Kyoto, and grew to more than 1,000 mayors – representing about 90 million Americans. This Agreement has served as a model for other agreements around the world, and mayors in America have been actively pushing national leaders to act on this global threat. The U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Center, founded in 2007, has supported U.S. mayors in their local climate efforts, through forums, best practice sharing, research, and award programs.

USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran commented, “To commemorate this decade of mayoral leadership, this report, U.S. Mayors Report on a Decade of Global Climate Leadership, offers further insight on how USA mayors are addressing these challenges and what they see and hope for the future. These offerings – providing a glimpse of the thinking and efforts of so many more USA mayors and other mayors throughout the world as well – reflect commitments to local action and, hopefully, will motivate national leaders to make sure these threats to our climate do not go uncontested.”

Making the case for global consensus during COP 21, the mayors also participated in the Climate Summit for Local Leaders that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and U.N. Special Envoy Michael Bloomberg led at Hôtel de Ville, the Paris City Hall, on December 4th, and visited Le Bourget, the U.N. Conference Site, for a Day of Action on December 5th. Likely the largest gathering of international mayors in history, the Climate Summit Friday resulted in the adoption of the Paris City Hall Declaration, which reaffirms local commitments to combat climate disruption and calls for national negotiators at COP 21 to do the same. USCM Second Vice President New Orleans (LA) Mayor Mitch Landrieu was a featured speaker on an afternoon panel at the Summit. During the Day of Action, the mayors visited the USA Center and took part in a plenary session on “Inhabiting Tomorrow’s Landscape” featuring Bloomberg and Hidalgo.

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