Note: The following text has been adapted from Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s speech today at The Second China-U.S. Climate-Smart Low-Carbon Cities Summit in Beijing.
Almost every country in the world is becoming more urban. We can say now, as much as ever, that cities are the future.
This is a trend—one of many—that is bringing China and the United States closer together. As we become more urban, we become more connected: through technology, through economic relations, through cultural exchange. Therefore as cities, we take on greater ability—and greater responsibility—to collaborate, to innovate, and to lead together on the world’s hardest challenges.
Mayor Marty Walsh (centre) meets with (from left to right) Wuhan Vice Mayor Chen Wei Bin, C40 Executive Director Mark Watts, Zhenjiang Mayor Zhu Xiaoming and Guangzhou Vice Mayor Cai Chaolin
There is no more pressing, or defining, global challenge than climate change. We know we must be making investments now to create a more sustainable future for the world we share.
That’s why, as Vice Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, I’m pleased to see that the Network is expanding.
That is what motivates us in our global collaboration: in networks like C40, the Compact of Mayors, and in the global Paris talks.
Boston is excited to turn these growing networks toward real progress.
As a coastal city, Boston faces special challenges. We are facing rising sea levels and more intense storms. You may have heard about Boston’s historic winter in 2015, when we received nearly 3 meters of snow in 3 months. This was no coincidence. It was very likely a result of climate change.
We know that climate action only works when we get everyone involved: our government, our businesses, neighborhoods, and residents. Through our Greenovate Boston initiative, we are engaging all of Boston’s residents and businesses to do their part in reducing our environmental impact.
Protecting our environment and resiliency is essential to the realization of all our goals. And that’s true in every city and country across the globe. It is how all of us here in this room, working together, will create a more sustainable world.
Read more on U.S.-China cooperation at the city level, and how Boston is leading on climate change, in an op-ed from Mayor Walsh in today’s Huffington Post.
Mayor Walsh today also joined U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to announce that Boston will host the 2017 U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit. The Mayor and the Secretary made the announcement during the evening plenary session at this year’s summit in Beijing. Read City of Boston’s announcement on next year’s Summit here.