Nation’s Mayors at Forefront of Climate Change Fight

January 24, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – Though the Trump administration continues to deny the validity of climate science, a new report suggests that both Democratic and Republican mayors across the nation are taking definitive steps to reduce carbon pollution, a leading contributor to climate change.

The report, which was released Thursday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting in Washington, was compiled by the Alliance for a Sustainable Future, a joint effort of the conference and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

Its 44 pages offer a detailed account of city and private programs to reduce carbon pollution and promote sustainable development in 182 American cities.

A separate report includes four case studies from Los Angeles, Calif.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Chicago, Ill.; and Detroit, Mich..

“Cities of all sizes are dealing with the effects of climate change. In the past year, we’ve seen our communities ravaged by extreme flooding, snow and ice storms, wildfires, heat waves and drought,” said Bryan Barnett , USCM president and mayor of Rochester Hills, Mich., in a statement accompanying the report.

“Mayors are taking action. Cities and private partners are leading the development of programs to reduce carbon pollution and make our communities healthier, all while building the economy of the future. This problem isn’t going away, and mayors will continue working to make our cities more sustainable and protect our environment for future generations,” Barnett said.

The authors note that nearly every city in the United States has experienced an adverse effect of climate change in the past five years. These include the increased intensity of severe weather events, and spikes in pest-borne diseases.

The report also shows that 60% of cities have launched or significantly expanded a climate initiative or policy over the previous 12 months, and 57% of cities will launch or significantly expand a climate initiative or policy this year.

But the report does more than contrast these municipal efforts with the lack of climate concern in the White House, it also shows that businesses and local officials are eager to work together to address their mutual climate concerns.

Key findings include:

  • Cities Are Promoting Clean Transportation Solutions: Nearly 60% of city governments have green vehicle purchasing policies and an additional 26% are considering them today. Cities with this policy will account for 85% of new municipal vehicle purchases this year. Sixty-One percent of cities support public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, with an additional 26% considering such action. Bike-share programs are also spreading quickly, with 93 cities reporting their presence – up from 67 cities in the previous year;
  • Renewable Energy Use is Growing: A total of  51% of cities have a renewable energy goal, and an additional 21% are considering setting a goal. Sixty-seven percent of cities procure renewable electricity for municipal operations. Fourteen cities reported covering 100% of city government electricity demand with renewable sources, an increase from 8 cities in 2018. Fifty-four percent of cities help citizens and businesses adopt renewable electricity options;
  • Cities are Taking on Building Efficiency: Two-thirds of cities have energy efficiency policies for municipal buildings, compared to just under half of cities in 2017. Additionally, 71% of cities conduct routine energy audits for city buildings. In an emerging trend, 29% of cities also support or require reporting of energy use for commercial buildings through benchmarking;
  • Partnerships with Stakeholders are Vital for Greater Impact: More than 87% of cities are partnering or interested in partnering with businesses in pursuit of transportation, renewable electricity and energy efficiency solutions. Cities continue to display great interest in partnering with businesses to advance energy efficiency, renewables and low-carbon transportation.

“This report shows just how effective local leaders can be when it comes to tackling international issues like climate change,” Bob Perciasepe, president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

“City governments are taking advantage of innovations in renewable energy, energy efficient buildings and low-carbon transportation, and these choices have proven to be immensely valuable to our communities and our nation,” he said.

The full report can be viewed here.

Climate

Decline in Emissions and Transportation Sector Energy Demand in 2020
Climate
Decline in Emissions and Transportation Sector Energy Demand in 2020
February 24, 2021
by Reece Nations

Although 2020 was an economically woeful year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a joint report by BloombergNEF and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy indicates renewable energy sources made record contributions to the country’s power grid.  The annual report, called the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook,... Read More

New Report Promotes ‘Quiet Climate’ Policies and Job Creation in Post COVID World
Think Tanks
New Report Promotes ‘Quiet Climate’ Policies and Job Creation in Post COVID World
February 5, 2021
by Sara Wilkerson

A new report from the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental research center based in California, outlines how Congress can effectively tackle climate change while creating millions of jobs in the process. The report aims to prioritize specific climate change policy goals amid a gridlocked Washington, D.C.  In... Read More

Manchin Gets Candid About Energy and Climate in the 117th Congress
Congress
Manchin Gets Candid About Energy and Climate in the 117th Congress
February 4, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — The Biden Administration’s priorities for clean energy, climate, and infrastructure will necessitate some ambitious legislation which may be problematic in the closely divided 117th Congress. One Democratic Senator will undoubtedly be the linchpin playing a decisive role in shaping the administration’s climate policies. Incoming... Read More

Senate Panel Considers Options For Confronting Climate Change
Climate
Senate Panel Considers Options For Confronting Climate Change
February 3, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee reviewed U.S. progress toward reducing climate change Wednesday to determine whether the nation is ready for President Joe Biden’s executive orders on environmental policy. The witnesses and senators spent much of their time discussing emissions from burning oil and coal as... Read More

A Gloomy Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil Says More Winter
Climate
A Gloomy Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil Says More Winter

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — There will be six more weeks of winter, Punxsutawney Phil predicted as he emerged from his burrow on a snowy Tuesday morning to perform his Groundhog Day duties. Members of Phil's “inner circle” woke up the furry critter at 7:25 a.m. at... Read More

Biden Orders Sweeping Actions to Pause Drilling and Fight Climate Change
Environment
Biden Orders Sweeping Actions to Pause Drilling and Fight Climate Change

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Wednesday a moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on public lands, one of a slate of executive actions he is taking to demonstrate his commitment to fighting climate change, despite opposition from the fossil fuel industry. The move effectively... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top