Mayors attending the 75th Winter Meeting of The US Conference of Mayors have called for $4 billion in an Energy and Environmental Block Grant to help cities combat global warming. The mayors also launched a major campaign to create a “climate of change” in Washington.
The US Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the US today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.
Cities are on the frontlines of climate change with mayors leading the way. But we can’t do it alone. We need the federal government to be a real partner with us on the issues of climate protection and achieving energy independence. That is why we are proposing an Energy and Environmental Block Grant.—Douglas H. Palmer, Conference President and Trenton, NJ Mayor
The block grant would provide funding directly to cities and urban counties for programs that: improve community energy efficiency; reduce carbon emissions; and decrease dependence on oil.
To date, more than 372 mayors from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, have signed onto the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, led by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, where mayors have pledged to take actions to cut their emissions in line with the Kyoto Protocols. Additionally, the Conference of Mayors has held two national energy summits focused on alternative fuel sources and green buildings.
The mayors also outlined three requests of the 110th Congress:
Establish a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions and a flexible market-based system of tradable allowances for emitting industries;
Pass climate-friendly energy and transportation policies; create funding and incentives to help cities in their efforts to curb emissions; and
Create funding and incentives to help cities in their effort to curb emissions.