City Leaders Applaud Historic Climate Agreement

Press Release
Press Release

WASHINGTON—The National League of Cities (NLC), in partnership with ICLEI, the U.S. Green Building Council and the World Wildlife fund, sent a delegation of 11 local elected officials to Paris to participate in the U.N. climate change negotiations (COP21) earlier this month. The NLC delegation—representing the largest group of U.S. local officials attending COP21—met with leaders from around the world, including the mayor of Paris, the U.S. Ambassador to France and representatives from the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

After nearly 200 countries approved the agreement Saturday, NLC CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony released this statement:

"With the final COP21 agreement, the world has come together to commit to aggressively act on climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The unanimous agreement to hold global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius can only be achieved with strong actions and commitments from cities, as well as the private sector and other sub-national actors, in support of our national goals and beyond. We applaud President Obama and negotiators from around the world for pursuing an agreement that is ambitious and includes an accountable and transparent review process.

"COP21 was a unique opportunity for NLC to partner with many organizations and prove to the world how far America—and in particular American cities—have come on climate issues. Cities are at the heart of what is needed to solve the problem of climate change and are on the front lines of dealing with its effects, and that is why cities are essential partners in this endeavor. Cities are leading by example in so many ways, but the challenge of climate change requires other levels of government to join and support this work. We know that this is the start of the work that needs to be done."

More than 400 cities worldwide have signed on to the Compact of Mayors pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change and track their progress transparently. The data collected through the Compact of Mayors will help quantify the impact city actions have on global greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilience, and will establish an accountability and reporting framework to track progress on commitments over time.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.