On behalf of the more than 230 cities and towns that are part of We Are Still In, we welcome the announcement today by Bloomberg Philanthropies of the “American Cities Climate Challenge”. It was a year ago today that the Trump Administration’s announced its intent to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Now, this new program reinforces the leadership that cities and mayors have taken to help fulfill our promise to fight climate change over the last year.
The American Cities Climate Challenge will support ambitious action from cities with the know-how and financial support needed to make significant improvements in the quality of life for residents of those cities in ways that are also good for the climate.
This program is also a great example of the ways cities can be rewarded for their leadership as a part of We Are Still In. Many cities have already committed themselves to ambitious climate action, even within the significant constraints they face. The potential to have the funding available through the American Cities Climate Challenge, and the wealth of new knowledge, ideas, and collaborations that it will foster will help not only those cities selected but those across the We Are Still In network to go further, faster to help fulfill America’s Pledge on climate.
“As a Republican who strongly supported the Paris Climate Accord, I was deeply disappointed when the President decided to withdraw from that agreement. But I’ve also long called for ground-up municipal leadership on this issue, which at its heart is apolitical and grounded in economic common sense. We don’t have forever to sit on our hands, waiting for bipartisanship to return to Washington or for federal legislation to make it out of Congress to the president’s desk. While national and international action is important, it is clear that cities, with about 85 percent of our country’s population, can help meet the Paris commitments. Cities like my own here in central Indiana are already making great strides in reducing our carbon footprint. This latest Bloomberg initiative will add to the momentum, and for that we’ll all be winners.” - Mayor Jim Brainard, Carmel, Indiana and member of the We Are Still In Leaders’ Circle.