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


  • Mary L.
    03/03/2020 01:28

    I agree we should pick up our trash take care of what God gave us we have a beautiful and thank God for it

  • Bob J.
    02/29/2020 11:56

    The Cities are RESPONSIBLE for the Pollution they create and for cleaning it up-- NOT Trump or any other President !! Cities could clean things up a Bunch by doing away with the Traffic Jams, rotting away deserted Buildings, Human Filth on the Streets and an extremely Long List of their responsibilities !!

  • Dave P.
    02/29/2020 04:56


  • Donald H.
    02/29/2020 02:36

    TRUMP. 2020

  • Michael M.
    02/28/2020 23:47

    Drain the cities, and see how they can survive without welfare. Maybe they can sweet talk the wolves and mountain lions. Maybe the wild dogs can eat them for supper.

  • Jim C.
    02/28/2020 04:01

    The Fool don't Believe in Climate Change!

  • Steve B.
    02/28/2020 02:35

    HOAX ,,,,,,,,,,that tossers lap up

  • Phil C.
    02/27/2020 22:42

    So sick of this rot. Disgusting exploitation of the environment for profit & agenda. We need to take good care of our planet, but to fear monger with lies & falsified "statistics" is criminal and unforgivable. Stop the disgusting, disproven LIES.

  • David S.
    02/27/2020 22:28

    he believes in it but the cities should believe in poop also and clean it up

  • Rick G.
    02/27/2020 21:25

    Stupid. Plastics and pesticides that kill bees much bigger problem.

  • Virgil M.
    02/27/2020 12:40

    Sure when NYC cleans up the SMOG there I'll follow them, NASTY CITY!

  • John R.
    02/27/2020 04:46

    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.
    02/27/2020 03:43

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

  • Howard T.
    02/27/2020 00:39

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

  • Sharlene H.
    02/27/2020 00:28

    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.
    02/27/2020 00:20

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

  • Greg N.
    02/27/2020 00:17

    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.
    02/26/2020 23:52

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

  • David D.
    02/26/2020 15:12

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

  • Mike D.
    02/26/2020 06:45

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

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