- U.S. Conference of Mayors includes leaders from 1,400 cities across America
- Mayors are calling on Congress to establish carbon pricing and more
- “We need elected leaders in Washington to do what many mayors are already doing at home”
Hundreds of mayors from around the U.S. this summer collectively urged Congress to put a price on carbon, reflecting the growing clout of local elected city executives to shape the climate conversation. The U.S. Conference of Mayors — which includes leaders from America’s 1,400 cities with populations of more than 30,000 — voted to oppose any attempts by federal or state legislators to limit cities’ ability to sue fossil fuel companies and recuperate damages for their role exacerbating the climate crisis.
The mayors’ multi-resolution vote, which took place in late June in Hawaii, was the latest sign that municipal leaders are committed to tackling emissions and working to get their communities on a path to 100% renewable energy. Their resolution is backed by urban economic muscle: the city/metro economies they represent currently generate 91% of GDP and wage income and provide nearly nine of every 10 jobs nationally.
In their carbon pricing resolution, the mayors told Congress to set a price “sufficient enough to reduce carbon emissions in line with ambitions detailed in the Paris Agreement on climate change.” According to Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski who introduced the proposal: “We need our elected leaders in Washington to do what many of us mayors are already doing at home: Move swiftly to adopt policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure the long-term health of our environment.”
The mayors additionally voted to endorse the principles of the Green New Deal, calling for “a comprehensive national response” to the climate crisis, and opposed the administration’s recent decision to freeze vehicle fuel economy standards. As Andres Jimenez of Citizens’ Climate Lobby said of the vote: “Mayors are on the front lines of climate change, [they’re] dealing with the on-the-ground impacts every day and they know people in their cities want action.”
What We’re Reading: “Extract from, “U.S. Mayors Pressure Congress on Carbon Pricing, Climate Lawsuits and a Green New Deal,” published on InsideClimate NewsSee more what we’re reading