How America's cities are fighting climate change

Donald Trump may not believe in climate change — but these U.S. cities are acting without him.

U.S. cities are showing American leadership on climate change

Cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy, are responsible for over 70% of global CO2 emission and are on the front lines of the effects of climate change.

This is why they need to take action

“Here in New York City, we’ve lived through climate change. We had to experience Superstorm Sandy. And so we know how important it is for us to take climate change, climate action seriously. And we have been doing that for the entirety of the De Blasio administration, including when he announced last year the Green New Deal, where New York City is committing to a very ambitious plan to ensure that we cut emissions by 40% percent by 2030,” Penny Abeywardena, NYC Commissioner for International Affairs tells Brut.

Under the Paris climate agreement, the U.S. pledged to cut emissions by 26-28% below its 2005 level before 2025. But President Trump withdrew from it in 2017. “Here in New York City, we knew he was going to do that. So we were prepared. Within 24 hours, New York City signed its own executive order, committing us directly to the Paris climate accord,” Abeywardena explains.

The formation of the Voluntary Local Review

Now, more than 400 city mayors have committed to uphold the agreement's goal to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. Beyond local measures, New York City started a global platform for cities to share ideas — the Voluntary Local Review. Cities report their progress toward the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

She continues, “We are asking cities and states around the world to look at what they're doing in their communities. Use that Sustainable Development Goals framework and then how do we exchange best practices on this platform? Because this is not a time for finding new things and that we need to replicate ideas that have worked…We work closely with London. We saw how congestion pricing was working in London. And the mayor recently announced that New York City is going to be doing congestion pricing where cars are moving in a certain period, a certain period of time and area in New York City, will get charged a fine, and that that money is essentially going to go to boost our public transportation. There are a number of different cities that are also now considering congestion pricing like Seattle.”

Cities can also flex their collective economic power

“We believe in climate justice and climate accountability. So, New York City is divesting $5 billion of its pension funds from the big fossil fuel companies. And we partnered with London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, to create the Divest/Invest network to encourage other cities and states and other regional authorities to think about how we put our money, where our mouth is, especially on climate change,” Abeywardena concludes.


02/10/2020 10:57 AM
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  • John R.
    a day

    gonna cost the USA trillions while the rest of the world does nothing_ this could break the USA while letting the world go free!!! WhY??? the accusers are Commies??? Research then post???

  • Gordon S.
    a day

    Demagogues of alleged human-caused climate change are their own kind of terrorists!

  • Howard T.
    a day

    Can these cities ever quantify exactly what difference will be made given the cost. And they ALWAYS cost.

  • Sharlene H.
    a day

    New York City. Hmmmm! How do they heat all those tall buildings in Winter??? Hmmm! Steam Heat I’ll bet. I wonder where they make the steam to heat all those buildings. Steam Heating Plants - What else. So - To make steam you need boilers and a very hot fire in those boilers to produce heating steam 24/7. Also - Fuel for the fired boilers - lots of fuel - Possible a fossil fuel like evil coal to feed the fires in all those steam heating boilers that keep New York City buildings from freezing in Winter. Wait! Impossible! New York City is Green. LOL 😂 Only on St. Patrick’s Day. - Grandpa 👴 Mike.

  • Barry F.
    a day

    The only thing I see from cities is greed and disrepect of our laws.

  • Greg N.
    a day

    Relax, Brut...Climate Change is is just Mother Nature bringing back the Dinosaurs...because...she, TOO, is really tired of the Socialist Democrats BS...

  • Steve A.
    2 days

    im gonna fire up my 454 chevy and belch some fire.

  • David D.
    2 days

    Climate change is all green? Give me your dollars and we will give you???????????

  • Mike D.
    2 days

    Math Doesn't Lie - - and here's the Math . . . . .

  • Paul S.
    2 days

    Vote Sanders and make America great for the first time.

  • Penny L.
    3 days

    Well plant more trees to help get rid of the co2

  • Bob T.
    3 days


  • Jerry C.
    3 days

    Strange that we had the ice age, the warming age long before carbon footprints wasn't even a word. You can clean up the environment, but your never going to change the climate. Mother Nature will always rule..............

  • Andy W.
    4 days

    Climate change, like its predecessor- Global warming- is a complete and utter hoax! This is simply an attempt by the left to re-distribute wealth from those that have it to allies and operatives of the Democratic Party! (e.g., the Clintons, Al Gore, Obama)

  • Lige A.
    4 days

    This is very foolish.

  • Rick U.
    4 days

    These storms have been happening for centuries !! Cars have only been around for 100 + yrs !!!

  • Lonnie W.
    4 days


  • Steven F.
    5 days

    And I'll say it again: ANYONE who believes in the 'climate change' narrative spewed by these so-called 'scientists', the politicians, and activists are pure STUPID.

  • Hazel H.
    5 days


  • Marty M.
    5 days

    another way for money to change hands....and we wasted....make someone rich and the world is the same