Mayor Walsh to host International Mayors Climate Summit in June
Building on Boston's commitment to leading the way on addressing climate change, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced Boston will welcome mayors and leaders from public and private sectors to Boston in June for an International Mayors Climate Summit hosted at Boston University. The one-day program will feature John Kerry, 68th United States Secretary of State, in conversation with Bank of America Vice Chairman, Anne Finucane, and remarks by Gina McCarthy, 13th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The summit will focus on best practices and steps city leaders can take to address climate change globally and in their own communities.
"Climate change is not an issue a city can solve by itself -- but Boston's leadership can be far-reaching," said Mayor Walsh. "I look forward to welcoming leaders who share in our commitment to addressing climate change to Boston this summer. Together, we will continue to make our cities and our country stronger as we move forward on this very real issue."
The International Mayors Climate Summit will serve as a critical opportunity for some of the most influential mayors and leaders to strategize, collaborate, and learn from one another about approaches to the global crisis on climate change. Mayors will convene on strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as the acceleration of renewable energy, and how to prepare for the impacts of climate change, including discussions on climate migration.
"Whether the topic is resiliency, emergency preparedness, the challenges of concentrated populations, or the carbon footprint of urban industries - the role of cities in addressing climate change is one of the most important discussions of our time and there is no better place to be having that discussion than in Boston," said John Kerry, 68th United States Secretary of State. "I am honored to be joining our host and my own Mayor, Marty Walsh, and his colleagues in this conversation."
"Climate change impacts the health, safety and security of our residents, the physical integrity of our neighborhoods and the well being of our natural resources," said Gina McCarthy, 13th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. "Strong Mayors are the change makers we need to face climate change head on."
"We are focused on bringing together the entire financial sector to create innovative ways to deploy capital and create partnerships that accelerate progress," said Anne Finucane, Vice Chairman, Bank of America. "The transition to a low-carbon economy will take the public, private and non-profit sectors working together to create change. The International Mayors Climate Summit provides an important forum to further this work."
The summit will take place on Thursday, June 7th at Boston University, a summit sponsor. Mayor Walsh is also hosting the U.S. Conference of Mayors 86th Annual Meeting at the Marriott Copley Place June 8th - 11th.
"We are pleased to host mayors from around the world to the International Climate Summit at Boston University," said Boston University President Robert Brown. "The action of cities and institutions will be critical to addressing the enormous challenges presented by climate change. Through our Climate Action Plan, Boston University has committed to carbon neutrality by 2040 and is taking the steps needed to become a resilient campus. We welcome the opportunity to participate in the critical conversations that will take place at the Summit."
Boston is taking bold action on climate to become a carbon neutral, climate ready city as outlined in its updated Climate Action Plan. The 2014 Climate Action Plan update serves as Boston's roadmap for reaching its goals of reducing carbon emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change. The goals are supported by Imagine Boston 2030, the first citywide plan in 50 years, that helps to ensure that climate plays a role in aspects of city planning.
The city's current climate initiatives are laying the groundwork to advance its climate goals and to accelerate progress. Carbon Free Boston is analyzing the options and pathways to achieve deep decarbonization. The initiative is weighing the costs and benefits of technologies and policies across key action areas including electric power, buildings, transportation, and waste. As part of this effort, Zero Waste Boston is exploring pathways to turn Boston into a zero waste city through planning, policy, and community engagement.
Additionally, Climate Ready Boston is bolstering Boston's climate change resilience with near- and long-term planning. It is actively advancing Boston's vision of a resilient city through a comprehensive citywide vulnerability study, a community outreach program, and neighborhood-level implementation projects.
All of these initiatives will inform the upcoming update of Boston's Climate Action Plan next year.
In addition, Mayor Walsh is a co-chair of Climate Mayors (Mayors National Climate Action Agenda or MNCAA), a network of 402 U.S. mayors representing over 69 million Americans -- working together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policy making. Climate Mayors recently released a statement in support of the current federal standards on vehicle fuel efficiency in response to the Trump Administration's efforts to roll back this important policy.
Mayor Walsh is also North American Vice Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, an international network of the world's major cities addressing climate change.