On Monday and Tuesday, December 4th and 5th, Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Vicki Bennett, Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Sustainability, will participate in the inaugural North American Climate Summit in Chicago. The summit will bring together municipal leaders from across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe to discuss climate change, and specific commitments local leaders have made to the Paris Agreement. The summit is hosted by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and C40 Cities.
During the two-day summit, Mayor Biskupski will also sign the Chicago Climate Charter, a first-of-its-kind international charter on climate, which among other things, commits signatories to ‘incorporating the realities of climate change and its impacts into local infrastructure and emergency planning through strategies of adaptation and resilience.’ The Charter acknowledges the critical role cities must play to uphold the principles of the Paris Agreement, which the Trump Administration withdrew from earlier this year.
On Tuesday, Mayor Biskupski will join Mayor Valérie Plante of Montreal, Canada, and Mayor Anne Hildalgo of Paris, France, on the panel, “Cities Adapt – Tackling Climate Impacts”. The mayor will discuss Salt Lake City’s plans to address the impacts of rising temperatures, including the impact on the region’s air quality and watershed. She will also discuss the City’s clean energy plan, Climate Positive 2040, which will transition the City to 100% renewable energy by 2032.
“Salt Lake City continues to lead on the world-stage in addressing climate change,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “We’re moving forward because we have to, and we’re bringing our ambitious clean energy goals and sustainable, collaborative strategies in finding solutions to the table.”
Mayor Biskupski and Vicki Bennett will participate in a second panel, “Cities4Energy”, joining Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon. Panelists will discuss energy efficiency strategies in combating climate change. Mayor Biskupski will highlight Salt Lake City’s efficiency policies, programs, and initiatives, such as the City’s green fleet, energy benchmarking ordinance, and strategic collaborations with businesses and state government.
Mayor Biskupski’s attendance at the summit focused on local-level action on climate change, coincides with President Trump’s announced visit to Salt Lake City. It is expected the President will announce a roll-back of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Southern Utah, during his visit Monday.
“We know that many monument opponents want the lands left open for the possibility of extracting coal, oil, and gas,” said Mayor Biskupski. “But expanding our carbon footprint is exactly the opposite direction the Capital City is taking. Cleaner air and a healthy future depends on facing the scientific facts of climate change and on making serious efforts to preserve our planet.”
Mayor Biskupski is an active participant in several U.S. mayors’ initiatives on climate change, including serving as co-chair of the Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100 % Clean Energy, Vice Chair of the Conference of Mayor’s Alliance for a Sustainable Future, and Climate Mayors, a collective of more than 300 mayors representing 60 million constituents.
To learn more about the North America Climate Summit, visit:
To learn more about Salt Lake City sustainability goals, visit: http://www.slcgreen.com/climatepositivearchive
The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing over 650 million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens.
About the Global Covenant of Mayors
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low emission, resilient society.