The consequences and opportunities of climate change are local, and it is the imperative of mayors to inspire their communities to act on climate. This is the message of Jackie Biskupski, Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Cindy Lerner who is the Mayor of Pinecrest, Florida. While there is not much that these two cities have in common, both are expressing a shared commitment to climate action.
The reason that these mayors have sprung into action is the recognition that climate change is a local issue. Whether it is rising sea levels or more severe weather events, a changing climate threatens public health, public infrastructure, like roads and utilities, and can depress local economies.
So mayors and city officials have decided to lead. Mayors Biskupski and Lerner emphasize that “taking steps today to cut carbon emissions will save lives, protect public health, spur innovation and safeguard property.” Climate action is about jobs, creating a safe place for residents to live and raise a family, and protecting our natural resources for future generations.
When it comes to confronting the challenge of climate change, cities are on the front lines.
From rising seas submerging coastal property to precipitation changes in the desert, climate impacts are here—and undeniably local. Climate change may have once been the ultimate slow-moving and global threat, but our residents and our critical infrastructure are already feeling its effects. The threats to our economies are serious enough that the risks of continued inaction can no longer be ignored.
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