July 23, 2020


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Letter signed by 198 U.S. mayors advocates for a zero-carbon green economy that creates good-paying jobs and prioritizes equity

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that he has signed on to a letter sent yesterday by Climate Mayors to Congressional leaders urging bold action to protect our planet and build a more just economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization comprises a network of 461 U.S. mayors across the country, who are committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement. 198 Climate Mayors called on Congress to invest in an economic recovery that injects more resilience, equity, and sustainability into our communities, so far. Mayor Baraka was among the first 100 to sign the letter.

“There is power in collective action and it is the only way to move forward and ensure equity in climate action planning and initiatives,” said Mayor Baraka. “As mayors, we have a constitutional and moral duty to protect the health of our residents. To do so, we here in Newark have undertaken major sustainability initiatives to improve our own environment. On a national level, I am working with other mayors across America to advocate for and put into place specific measures to ensure a just transition to a cleaner, greener future. Together, our cities will ‘act locally while thinking globally’ and put collective pressure on our Senators and Representatives to work with us in the fight to end climate change.”

With the focus squarely on rebuilding the economy and country stronger than ever before, the mayors have advocated for a nationwide transition to a zero-carbon economy. This step is already happening in cities across the country and regarded as a bold move that will create good-paying green jobs, lead to cleaner air and lower emissions, improve public health, support resilience, and lift up our most vulnerable residents.

The global coronavirus pandemic has hit communities of color and low-income families particularly hard – the same families, workers, and neighborhoods who suffer most from the ill effects of climate change, including dangerous emissions, skyrocketing temperatures, intense wildfires, and extreme weather events like floods and hurricanes. Climate Mayors are determined to build a strong, green economy that ensures all Americans are prepared for future health, economic, and environmental shocks.

Recognizing the need to work together at every level of government to move beyond this devastating pandemic, Mayor Baraka and other Climate Mayors strongly urged federal legislators to work with state and city leadership to build new policies and amplify existing programs that have proven effective.

In the letter, Climate Mayors list several goals that Congress should prioritize as part of the recovery, including:

Build for a Better Future: Returning to the status quo is not sufficient in meeting the challenges of climate change and inequities in our communities. We must increase our resolve and ambition to reinvest in America’s communities.

Leading with Equity: Federal investments in our municipalities must prioritize those communities who have been left behind, and frontline communities and people of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change and COVID-19.

Prioritizing Multiple Benefits: The best investments will create jobs, strengthen communities, and improve health outcomes in our cities and towns.
The letter also includes an appendix with a sample of recommended policies and programs to advance a just, equitable, and resilient economic recovery that will put Americans back to work and create cleaner, healthier, more livable communities. The policy recommendations are accompanied by success stories from Climate Mayors member cities where similar policies have led to community benefit.

Please find a full version of the letter here:

About Climate Mayors

Representing 74 million Americans from 48 states, Climate Mayors is a diverse network of 461 U.S. city leaders who have committed to fighting climate change. Originally founded in 2014, the network’s ranks swelled to almost 400 mayors in response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. Climate Mayors commit to taking ambitious action to meet each of their cities’ current climate goals, while working together towards achieving our national Paris targets. Climate Mayors was founded and is Chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Co-Chaired by Mayors Sylvester Turner (Houston) and Martin J. Walsh (Boston). For more information, please visit