In Support of the Creation of a Civilian Climate Corps

Adopted at the 89th Annual Meeting in 2021

  • WHEREAS, on January 27, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad; and

    WHEREAS, following up on that Executive Order, the Department of the Interior issued a preliminary report, Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful; and

    WHEREAS, among its recommendations, the report calls for "putting a new, diverse generation of Americans to work through a Civilian Climate Corps that can help conserve and restore public lands and waters," and

    WHEREAS, the report calls for the proposed to Corps "make investments in restoration, reforestation, reclamation, and other activities that improve the function and form of our natural systems-from the Everglades and the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay," and

    WHEREAS, such investments would bolster our nation's resilience to wildfires, sea level rise, droughts, storms, and other climate impacts, create a new pathway to well-paying jobs and careers, and provide economic benefits to communities across the nation, and

    WHEREAS, the proposed American Jobs Plan calls for a $10 billion investment in the Civilian Climate Corps; and

    WHEREAS, Representatives Joe Neguse (D-CO), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have introduced legislation (HR 2241/S 1057), the Civilian Climate Corps Act of 2021; and

    WHEREAS, HR 2241/S 1057 would create a Civilian Climate Corps operated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of the Interior in accordance with the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, a structure that would allow for local government involvement in the program; and

    WHEREAS, HR 2241/S 1057 would require that Corps members come from economically, geographically, and ethnically diverse backgrounds and include veterans, individuals with disabilities, and people of various sexes, sexual orientations, and gender identities; and

    WHEREAS, HR 2241/S 1057 would require that Corps service projects prioritize disproportionately impacted communities, are conducted in partnership with a qualified youth service or conservation corps, and meet the objectives of:
    • Conserving public land and water to mitigate climate change,
    • Addressing the needs of frontline communities experiencing the worst effects of climate change, build resilience to climate change through nature-based solutions (living shorelines, wetlands, green stormwater infrastructure, sustainable forest management),
    • Assisting natural disaster-prone communities and disproportionately impacted communities (replacing aging infrastructure with climate-ready upgrades, enhanced building efficiency),
    • Promoting traditional ecological knowledge natural climate solutions (reforestation, aquaponics),
    • Supporting the resilience of natural systems to climate change by protecting biodiversity (conservation, eradication of invasive species),
    • Increasing education of public on climate adaptation and mitigation,
    • Improving access to outdoor recreation,
    • Addressing environmental degradation in disproportionately impacted communities,
    • Supporting the resilience of food systems to ensure reliable and equitable access to nutritious foods,
    • Advancing resilience and carbon emissions reductions of participating agencies, or
    • Addressing urban and suburban greening and revitalization (open space preservation/restoration/expansion, conversion of blacktops, green roofs, tree planting), and
    WHEREAS, cities have established similar programs that the creation of a federal Civilian Climate Corps would bolster,

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors supports the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors thanks the sponsors and cosponsors of HR 2241 and S 1057.

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