St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Edina Mayor Jim Hovland have been named to a national Climate Mayors Steering Committee, joining 22 other mayors from across the country committed to battling global warming.
The committee will look to build the influence of Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of more than 400 mayors aiming to meet their own cities’ climate goals and together achieve national climate targets set by the Paris Agreement to mitigate global warming, which the federal government announced plans to abandon in 2017.
The committee consists mostly of mayors of big cities such as New York City, Dallas, Denver and Phoenix. Edina, the smallest city on the list, is one of three suburbs represented on the committee along with Carmel, Ind., and Beverly, Mass.
The steering committee will work to grow the network’s membership, highlight ways for municipal leaders to reduce greenhouse gases and promote sustainability in their cities.
“Naturally, we think that this would be more successful if we did this as an entire country, but nonetheless, these mayors are undeterred,” Hovland said. “We are going to act locally to effect something globally.”
Climate Mayors was founded in 2014 by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who serves as chairman. Its membership increased after President Donald Trump said he planned to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, according to the organization.
“No matter what happens on the national level, cities know we cannot afford any more debates or delays, so we will continue to act to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, protect our most vulnerable residents, strengthen global health, and create a green economy that works for everyone,” said Garcetti in a statement.
As a member of Climate Mayors, Edina has implemented an energy action plan and developed recommendations to reduce emissions from city vehicles.
Hovland said that being part of the steering committee will allow him to bring back to Edina ideas about what other cities are doing to move toward cleaner energy.
Hovland said that joining Carter on the committee is an honor and will mean the Twin Cities is involved in important and collaborative conversations about sustainability.
“Edina represents the voice of smaller communities across the United States, just as committed as our larger cities, to a cleaner energy future,” Hovland said.
“This is one of the most important issues of our time. It will not be easy work, but it is very, very necessary work that we do for all of us and those yet to come.”