More than 250 United States mayors have adopted a new bipartisan climate change resolution that includes a push for US cities to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2035, further widening the divide between US cities and their new Commander in Chief.
The resolution was adopted at the 85th Annual Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, which was held from June 23 to 26 in Miami Beach. The resolution is in fact an all-encompassing energy resolution, including numerous functions intended to reverse climate change, and increase US city leadership in the fight against climate change. The resolution focuses on a wide variety of issues that US cities will attempt to take leadership on, including energy efficiency, the electrification of the US transportation sector, driving city and energy technology innovation, and of course supporting cities in their transition to 100% renewable energy generation.
Specifically, the US mayors agreed to support onshore and offshore wind energy production, concluding that “The United States Conference of Mayors supports greater federal, state, and local investment in the development of wind energy” and “supports a continuation of the [Investment Tax Credit (ITC)] for as long as necessary to secure the long-term viability of the domestic wind energy industry, including the offshore wind energy industry, and more specifically, the passage of the Offshore Wind Act.”
“Local leaders are taking command in the fight against global warming even as the Trump administration tries to trample climate progress at home and abroad,” said Chad Tudenggongbu, senior renewable energy campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We applaud the U.S. Conference of Mayors for recognizing that we don’t have four years to wait to take meaningful climate action. A clean, equitable and sustainable energy system shouldn’t be about politics. It’s about the wellbeing of people, the economy and the environment.”
It should come as no surprise that so many US mayors have committed to this resolution so soon after US President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the country from the Paris Climate Agreement. In the immediate aftermath, there was a countrywide revolt against the President’s decision (not to mention global condemnation). Prime among those revolting was Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, who issued an Executive Order committing the city to the Paris Climate Accords, despite Donald Trump claiming that he had been elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris” — it seems Pittsburgh disagreed. This was unsurprisingly followed by the announcement that membership of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, also known as the Climate Mayors, had grown from 61 to more than 200 within days of Donald Trump’s announcement.
Only a few days later, and the We Are Still In movement was formed, and stood to represent more than 1,000 mayors, governors, state attorneys general, CEOs, and other prominent US institutions and persons, each of which was committing to the Paris Climate Agreement. “Today, on behalf of an unprecedented collection of U.S. cities, states, businesses and other organizations, I am communicating to the United Nations and the global community that American society remains committed to achieving the emission reductions we pledged to make in Paris in 2015,” said Mike Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, who was part of the team that created We Are Still In.
“I am confident the broad array of leaders and organizations that have signed today’s declaration, and many others that will join in the days to come, will work together to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 26 percent by 2025, just as we had pledged in Paris. These groups will take vigorous and ambitious actions to address climate change, and we will communicate those actions in a transparent and accountable way to the UN. The United States can, and will, meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement.”