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Mayor Walsh, Secretary Kerry Announce Boston Will Host 2017 US-China Climate Leaders Summit

June 7, 2016

Mayor's Office

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Mayor's Office

BEIJING, CHINA - Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to announce that Boston will host the 2017  U.S. - China Climate Leaders Summit.  The Mayor and the Secretary made the announcement during the evening plenary session at this year's summit in Beijing, China.

The summit will bring thousands of leaders from around the world to Boston in the summer of 2017 to discuss and share experiences in building low-carbon, climate-resilient communities. The selection of Boston demonstrates the city's leadership on the global stage in creating a greener and more sustainable city.

The third summit will further strengthen the US-China bilateral relationship on climate change, as well as the two countries' shared commitment to climate action following the successful Paris Agreement in 2015.

"I am honored to announce that Boston will build on our global climate leadership to host next year's U.S.-China Climate Leaders Summit," said Mayor Walsh. "There is no more pressing, or defining, global challenge than climate change. We know we must be making investments now to create a more sustainable future for the world we share. I look forward to continuing these substantive, challenging conversations in Boston."

"Boston has long been a leader on climate action, and today that’s underscored not only by Mayor Walsh’s presence here in Beijing for the second US-China Climate Leaders Summit – but also by the announcement that Boston will host the third Leaders Summit next year,” said Secretary Kerry. “When nearly 200 nations adopted a global climate change agreement in Paris last December, we knew that success would depend on commitment at the local level.  As a coastal city, Boston is approaching this challenge with the urgency it demands by pursuing a first-of-its-kind approach to preparing for rising sea levels and extreme weather through Climate Ready Boston, while also setting ambitious greenhouse-gas reduction goals with Carbon-Free Boston.  And as a son of Boston and someone who has focused on climate change for decades, I’m particularly proud of my hometown’s leadership in this global effort.”

The first summit occurred last September in Los Angeles and included a keynote address by Vice President Biden and China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi as well as the signing by 24 state and local leaders of a first-of-its-kind "US-China Climate Leaders Declaration." The most notable feature of this declaration was a commitment by major Chinese cities to peak CO2 emissions earlier than China's national goal of 2030.

Earlier this year, Mayor Walsh joined the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) Steering Committee, the governing body that provides strategic direction for the network of cities on the front line of preparing for and helping prevent climate change. Mayor Walsh is currently representing all North American cities on the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) as Vice-Chair alongside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

At Tuesday's session in Beijing, the Mayor announced that the Chinese cities of Dalian and Chengdu have joined C40, further strengthening the coalition's force throughout the world.

Boston has made significant progress in the past two years, from the release of the updated Greenovate Climate Action, which sets a clear road map to achieve Boston's greenhouse gas reduction goals of 25 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, to receiving an international award for community engagement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris.

Last year Boston celebrated its compliance with the Compact of Mayors -- an important measure in achieving its climate commitments by providing a more transparent platform for Boston's climate progress. The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of over 500 mayors and city officials pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and track their progress transparently, and Boston has been an integral signatory in following through with its commitment.