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U.S. mayors agree to address local climate challenges

Mayors from more than a thousand U.S. cities - including West Palm Beach - have adopted a revised climate protection agreement.
Mayors from more than a thousand U.S. cities - including West Palm Beach - have adopted a revised climate protection agreement.
Courtesy of usmayors.org

At the recent 82nd Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Dallas, West Palm Beach Jeri Muoio joined her USCM peers in signing a revised agreement vowing to take steps to adapt to changing climate conditions and build grassroots support for local conservation efforts. The U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement also urges federal and state governments to enact bipartisan legislation, policies and programs to assist local officials in leading the way toward energy independence, protecting the environment, eliminating waste, and created jobs that cannot be outsourced overseas.

Originally launched in 2005, the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement was aimed at reducing carbon emissions from city operations and in the community at large in line with the goals of the Kyoto Protocol. More than 1060 mayors – including then West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel – signed the document, which ultimately led to the establishment of the City of West Palm Beach’s Office of Sustainability.

The revised agreement focuses on three areas:

  1. National Action: It urges Congress to enact policies and programs that promote greater energy independency and reduce the U.s. dependence on fossil fuels; accelerate energy efficiency and development of clean, economical and renewable energy technologies; and adapt city buildings, homes, facilities and infrastructures to address changing climatic conditions.
  1. Local Action: The mayors will strive to establish and meet or exceed locally-established targets for reducing energy use, especially fossil fuels, by taking actions in their own operations and engaging their communities (citizens, businesses, schools and organizations).
  1. Advocacy: The mayors pledge to support a grassroots movement in support of conservation initiatives, such as Arbor Day, Earth Day, community events, locally-established conservation corps and other activities, as well as recognize local conservationists. They also pledge to work as global ambassadors who share their best practices with mayors at home and abroad.

To read the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and its specific pledges in its entirety, click here.