Climate change has started to rear its ugly head in small ways—sea water flooding in city streets, native plants dying and discouraging ecotourism, persistent droughts—and city mayors are fighting back.
An international coalition of mayors recently formed the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a group of about 7,100 city mayors from six continents to take greater action to avoid climate impacts and demonstrate how local action can impact the global stage, according to a release.
“The leadership of cities is more important than ever in the fight against climate change. This group's diverse experience from cities on every continent will help support local action and speed global progress,” said Michael Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and Co-Chair of the initiative, in a release.
A total of 128 mayors from U.S. cities have signed the covenant, including Albany, New York; Boston, Massachusetts, and Atlanta, Georgia.
The covenant will push member cities to set carbon reduction targets, implement environmentally friendly energy policy and encourage green strategies in their cities beyond what is required through state and federal guidelines in order to meet the carbon reduction targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement, the release stated.
The association stated cities account for more than 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions across the globe, and they are primed to be the agents of change. The agreement brings in mayors from cities across the globe, including Rajkot, India; Surabaya, Indonesia; and Quito, Ecuador.
“What they do in their cities will inspire others to be as ambitious in taking concrete action,” Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Maroš Šefčovič said. “To build on our resources and ensure that the needs of cities are met, we're excited to have their voices be directly heard to ensure the Global Covenant of Mayors is truly a city-led, city-driven coalition."