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Boston joins international group of climate change champions, urges climate action

October 5, 2015

Environment

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Environment

Boston will play host today to city sustainability directors from 19 cities around the world through an international partnership of leaders committed to addressing climate change and its dangerous impacts.

As part of the Our Cities, Our Climate program, the international exchange of climate leaders will leverage the important role cities play internationally in advancing innovative climate change action.

“Cities are on the front lines when it comes to climate change and its dangerous impacts; they are the incubators of innovative solutions to this immediate problem,” said Mayor Walsh. “We are pleased to host these sustainability directors from around the world to explore and share best practices to fight climate change. Thanks are due to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Secretary of State John Kerry for convening these discussions and making these important discussions happen.”

Boston is the second of three U.S.-cities participating in the international exchange and will host discussions today and tomorrow. Prior to visiting Boston, the sustainability directors spent three days in San Francisco for similar meetings and are traveling to Washington, D.C. later this week.

“We look forward to sharing our successes with other cities to continue to combat climate change together on a global scale,” said Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space who will be attending events in Boston and Washington. “Collaboration is crucial to our success, especially in the lead up to global climate talks.”

Led by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. State Department, the Our Cities, Our Climate international exchange brings together mayors, city sustainability directors, and climate change champions for robust, in-depth conversations focusing on issues such as solid waste strategy, transforming energy supplies, and building efficiency.

“Boston is a city with a unique place in history, driving social change, technological innovation and economic progress throughout the history of our nation,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. “Boston is also a city threatened by climate change and is among the global leaders in developing innovative solutions to tackle the most pressing environment and public health challenge facing the planet. I’m honored to work with Mayor Walsh on Our Cities, Our Climate – an initiative supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies – to convene climate action leaders from cities around the world to share their experiences and wisdom to accelerate action and progress in the fight against climate change.”

Amos Hostetter, founder and co-chair of Boston's Green Ribbon Commission, a group of business and civic leaders working in partnership with the City of Boston to address climate change and play host to the international exchange, said, "We are excited to welcome our counterparts from around the world to share and learn best practices in this critical work."

Named a Climate Champion city by the White House for its environmental initiatives and sustainability practices, Boston is a leader on climate action and has been named the most energy efficient city in the nation twice in a row.

As part of the international exchange, sustainability directors will tour the Charlestown’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital to learn more about its innovative climate change-adaptive design.

About Our Cities; Our Climate:

The Our Cities, Our Climate (OC2) partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Department of State is an international exchange program bringing together mayors from cities around the world committed to addressing climate change and preventing its harmful effects.

This exchange will allow for the leading voices in the fight against climate change to share best practices, discuss solutions, and ultimately accelerate the progress the world’s cities are making to address this global challenge.