Political Momentum For Local Change
A bipartisan group of mayors from across the U.S. passed a resolution Monday that green lights projects to tackle climate change. The group approved a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Mayors event in Dallas that encourages cities to use nature to “protect freshwater supplies, defend the nation’s coastlines, maintain a healthy tree and green space cover and protect air quality.”
The group included red-state Democratic mayors Lee Leffingwell from Austin, Texas, and Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Ariz. Republicans that signed the resolution include Carmel, Ind. Mayor Jim Brainard, and Betsy Price, mayor of Fort Worth, Texas.
“What’s so significant is that there was a unanimous vote on an issue that can be so divisive,” said Laura Huffman, director of Texas’ Nature Conservancy.
On top of infrastructure projects aimed at mitigating climate impacts, cities will look to combine tradition pipes with open spaces to build effective storm water collection systems. By tackling such projects, more parks, and recreation areas will be created as well the mayors said.
The overall strategy will address water, wastewater and stormwater runoff, heat island effects, preservation of open space and provide an inventory of emissions from fossil fuels for city operations to set reduction targets.
The move comes as climate change policies continue to divide lawmakers in Congress. As President Obama proposes more regulations curbing greenhouse gas emissions in the name of climate change, Republicans are seeking to block his standards using any means available.