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PROMINENT U.S. MAYORS LAUNCH NEW NATIONAL INITIATIVE TO TACKLE GHG EMISSIONS ON A LOCAL SCALE.
Washington, DC—September 22, 2014—One day after scientists from the Global Carbon Project announced that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions grew to record levels last year, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio committed to reducing the City’s GHG emissions by 80 percent, three prominent U.S. mayors today launched a new national initiative to tackle GHG emissions reductions on a local scale in cities across the country.
Today at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City in conjunction with C40’s Climate Week 2014, and in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayors Annise Parker of Houston, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, and Michael Nutter of Philadelphia announced the creation of the Mayors' National Climate Action Agenda. The Agenda focuses on mayor-to-mayor engagement to advocate for federal legislation and cooperation in acting on climate change. It calls for national and international binding emission reductions agreements, stronger inventory standards and reporting, local actions to reduce GHG emissions, and the growth of the carbon offset market. Under the agenda, Mayors Garcetti, Nutter, and Parker will initiate a city-to-city outreach effort to bring mayors together in the coming year to develop a framework for local leadership and action.
The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) applauds the mayors’ commitment to reducing emissions. “IMT is pleased to be working with the offices of Mayors Garcetti, Nutter, and Parker under the City Energy Project to reduce their cities' GHG emissions by targeting their largest source—buildings,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of IMT. “With more than half of the carbon emissions in most U.S. cities coming from buildings, improving building performance must be part of a comprehensive GHG emission reduction strategy.” A joint initiative of IMT and the Natural Resource Defense Council, the City Energy Project is working with 10 major America cities—including Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia—to ramp up financing investments and legislative action for greater energy efficiency in buildings. The efforts of all 10 City Energy Project participants are projected to cut up to 7 million tons of carbon emissions annually—equal to the amount of electricity used by nearly 1 million American homes annually.
"While world leaders gather at the United Nations Climate Summit this week, these local leaders are taking action in their own backyards," said Laurie Kerr, director of the City Energy Project. "This is further proof that these mayors are committed to protect citizens from the impacts of climate change, and are paving the way for cities around the world to follow."
Similar to the mayor-to-mayor structure of the Mayors' National Climate Action Agenda, the City Energy Project crafts plans that are flexible to each city’s unique qualities, while establishing a national network that provides support in order to scale up building efficiency nationwide. Mayors are not the only citizens who will benefit from these efforts. “Working toward greenhouse gas reductions by investing in building energy efficiency is a boon for local economies as it creates jobs in a range of fields, helps raise property values, and lower energy bills,” Majersik said. “We look forward to continuing our work with all 10 City Energy Project cities to reduce building energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and congratulate these mayors on their latest commitment of leadership in this realm.”
ABOUT IMT: The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. IMT's work addresses market failures that inhibit investment in energy efficiency and sustainability in the building sector. For more information, visit imt.org.
ABOUT THE CITY ENERGY PROJECT: The City Energy Project is a national initiative from the Institute for Market Transformation and the Natural Resources Defense Council to create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. Working in partnership, the Project and the 10 participating cities will support innovative and practical solutions that boost local economies, reduce pollution, and create healthier environments. The project is funded by a partnership of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Kresge Foundation. For more information, visit cityenergyproject.org.