In December 2015, 195 countries made history when they agreed to the world’s most ambitious pact to limit carbon emissions. The Paris Climate Agreement (so named because that’s where the COP21 meeting of nations took place), was lauded as the most significant step towards combating climate change. The international accord was signed by all but two countries, Nicaragua and Syria. In 2017 President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Agreement, earning a cold reception from many of America’s cities, who are independently opting to commit to the Agreement via Climate Mayors.
Climate experts warn that an increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius could bring about irreversible consequences, including unpredictable super-storms and crippling heat waves. The landmark agreement set the world on course to keep global surface temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above where they were before the Industrial Revolution. The White House decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Agreement threatens international infrastructure, public health, food supply and economic and political stability.
So far 369 U.S. mayors representing more than 67 million Americans, have agreed to adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Cities are vowing to intensify efforts to meet their cities’ current climate goals and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy to protect the planet from devastating climate risks.
Several Bay Area cities including San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland have already signed on to the Agreement to continue important emission reduction efforts. Three cities in Contra Costa County have signed – El Cerrito, Martinez and Richmond, though concerned residents and climate action groups including 4CL have asked numerous CCC cities to put this item on their agenda for discussion. To learn more about how to include your city, please visit: www.climatemayors.org.
WHEN & HOW?
Now is the time for action. The Climate Mayors Network has created a toolkit for cities interested in adopting the Agreement at: www.climatemayors.org/get-involved/city-officials.