In Support of Climate Action

Adopted at the 84th Annual Meeting in 2016

  • WHEREAS, scientific evidence is increasingly clear that human activities are largely responsible for the accelerating changes in the global climate; and

    WHEREAS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that 2015 was the warmest year since recordkeeping began, and all ten of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1998; and

    WHEREAS, climate change poses a major threat to the health and livelihood of American cities, with impacts as wide-ranging as increased flooding, drought, reduced water supply, fire, public health impacts, habitat loss, and invasive species; and

    WHEREAS, climate change, if unchecked, will have mounting impacts on human health, natural systems, and infrastructure, creating new costs for individuals, businesses, and governments; and

    WHEREAS, climate change has had a disproportionate impact on low income and disadvantaged communities; and

    WHEREAS, the solutions to climate change present vast economic opportunities in clean energy, efficient technology, and low-carbon products and services, all of which can create jobs in the United States; and

    WHEREAS, cities house more than half of the world's population and are responsible for more than 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions; and

    WHEREAS, cities have a major impact on carbon emissions through land use planning, transportation systems, building codes, and city services like drinking water, street lights, wastewater treatment plants, and building energy use, and

    WHEREAS, mayors are often the first responders to the impacts of changes in temperature, precipitation, and sea level on the community and essential city services; and

    WHEREAS, mayors have the unique opportunity and the significant responsibility to implement programs that result in real emissions reductions; and

    WHEREAS, local, regional and global economies are transitioning to low-carbon energy sources, and American businesses are leaders in providing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and services; and

    WHEREAS, clean energy firms already employ more than one million Americans and are poised to continue to grow; and

    WHEREAS, several U.S. and international cities have committed to ambitious clean and renewable energy goals; and

    WHEREAS, in 2005, U.S. mayors began signing the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which grew to more than 1,000 mayors representing about 90 million Americans; and

    WHEREAS, the United States Conference of Mayors' 2015 report, U.S. Mayors Report on a Decade of Global Climate Leadership, illustrates the range of accomplishment, innovation, and commitment U.S. cities are demonstrating in responding to climate change; and

    WHEREAS, 34 U.S. mayors have committed to the Mayors' National Climate Action Agenda, 12 cities participate in C40 Climate Leadership Group, and more than 100 U.S. Mayors have committed to the Compact of Mayors, all of which align resources and priorities to accelerate climate action in cities; and

    WHEREAS, in December 2015, 464 mayors from 115 countries on five continents gathered in Paris, France to affirm their commitment to address climate disruption; and

    WHEREAS, the United States Conference of Mayors has adopted many resolutions calling for stronger federal action to address climate change, but the urgency and magnitude of the issue demand an emphatic and immediate call to action,

    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that that the United States Conference of Mayors commends the Obama Administration for signing the Paris Agreement; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports strong federal action to achieve the U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that U.S. cities are committed to taking local action required to do our part to achieve the targets in the Paris Agreement; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports the Clean Power Plan, and cities pledge to work with their respective states to develop and implement prudent State Implementation Plans; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports expanded federal funding to transform our transportation system to be clean and low carbon, including funding for expanding transit and electrifying mobility for people and goods through strategies that prioritize equitable outcomes; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports federal tax credits for solar, wind, and geothermal renewable energy resources to grow high-wage American jobs and reduce air pollution; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors supports federal action, including funding, to help cities prepare for the impacts of climate change, such as increased flooding, extreme heat and drought; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that United States Conference of Mayors stands ready to join with our federal partners to provide the leadership and resources at the local level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect our most climate vulnerable residents from the impacts of climate change, and transition to a low-carbon economy.

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