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President Obama just challenged all cities to step up their climate game before COP21

The White House released a fact sheet today announcing a number of initiatives to increase energy efficiency measures in cities across the United States, and specifically called out the Compact of Mayors as a key effort to achieve President Obama’s goals.

 

Specifically, President Obama issued a challenge to all U.S. mayors to publicly commit to a climate action plan ahead of the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris, and set a goal of having at least 100 U.S. cities sign onto the Compact of Mayors by then.

To jumpstart this goal, 15 new U.S. cities joined the Compact today, including C40 cities Austin, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, bringing the total number of Compact cities in the U.S. to 34.

C40 Board President and UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg said:

Today the White House took another step toward confronting climate change that has the potential to be a powerful catalyst for change: Urging cities to join the Compact of Mayors. Cities account for about 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and so any plan to attack climate change must recognize their central role in the battle.  Last September, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and I launched the Compact, which commits cities to measuring and reporting their carbon emissions. By doing so, cities not only make local progress, they allow their national governments to set more ambitious goals. Nearly three dozen U.S. cities have already joined the Compact. Today’s call to action by the White House will complement the EPA’s important new regulations — and bolster the U.S.’s standing at the U.N. climate summit in December.

Today was a big day for city leaders and climate action – a coalition of U.S. mayors and city officials called the Local Climate Leaders Circle announced that they will join the COP21 meetings as delegates representing climate action at the local level.

Notably, three C40 mayors – Eric Garcetti from Los Angeles, Annise Parker from Houston and Michael Nutter from Philadelphia – are part of President Obama’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

For more about the Compact of Mayors, click here.

For more information about cities and climate change, visit the C40 blog and follow @c40cities on Twitter.