Mayors Take On Crucial Roles Fighting Climate Change

As the world considers how to respond to our changing climate, mayors have become even more critical in not only driving a global discussion but leading their cities toward more sustainable futures.

The vast majority of cities are located in coastal regions, putting their inhabitants at greater risks from rising sea levels and hurricanes. Urban residents look to mayors not just to respond to natural disasters but to increase the resilience of cities by implementing climate adaptation plans.

When the United Nations Climate Change Conference convenes in Paris on Nov. 30, a group of American mayors will be in attendance, representing 100 city leaders from across the United States who have committed to reducing emissions, tracking progress and preparing for the impact a changing climate will have on communities.

“Supporting a global climate agreement is critically important for cities around the world,” Ralph Becker, mayor of Salt Lake City and president of the National League of Cities, said in a statement back in August, when the mayors announced they’d be at the Paris summit. “I’m honored and encouraged that so many of my fellow city leaders have joined in this mission for their residents and the thousands of communities throughout the nation.”

In many ways, the increased role of mayors is common sense.

Cities have been where humans have congregated for commerce, culture and creativity for millennia. In the 21st century, cities have also become an important front in a global battle against the effects of our changing climate.

About 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030, accounting for the bulk of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage.

“Cities are leading the charge against climate change, and one of the reasons is that they share so much in common — what works —> Read More