Nothing Can Halt Our Green Ambitions How action on climate change is becoming the new normal in the world’s great cities On June 5, 2017, in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, I signed an Executive Order reaffirming Washington, D.C.’s commitment to the historic deal. The effects of climate change are already here, and in Washington, D.C. – our nation’s capital – we value building a more sustainable society and a greener future. At a moment in history when our federal government should be leading the way to protect our planet, the responsibility is instead falling to America’s cities, with the support of states, businesses, and citizens, to provide global leadership. More than 360 U.S. cities have now pledged to intensify their efforts to meet ambitious climate goals and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy. In Washington, D.C. we have launched Climate Ready D.C., entered into one of the largest municipal onsite solar projects in the U.S., completed the largest wind power purchase agreement deal of its kind ever entered into by an American city, and committed to expanding access to solar to at least 100,000 low-income households. Fortunately, mayors across the U.S. know that we are not alone in this work. This year’s Cities100 exhibits extraordinary actions undertaken by cities of all sizes from around the globe. The 100 solutions presented here are not only proof that cities are leading the fight against climate change, but that green policies, projects, and investments are becoming central for functioning cities. Climate action is becoming the new normal. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions and adapting our cities to withstand the effects of climate change is good for the environment and it is also making our cities healthier, happier, and more equitable. The cities that are acting fastest in creating more green spaces, incentivizing citizens to travel on foot, by bike, or on low-emission public transport, and creating jobs by investing in renewable energy will make our planet healthier and, in the years ahead, these cities will become the most desirable places to live. In the days and weeks following the announcement that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris Agreement, cities around the world, including Washington D.C., lit up their city halls, buildings, and monuments green as a symbol of our collective commitment to fighting climate change. This simple act of global solidarity reveals just how interconnected our world has become. As mayors and city officials, we recognize our responsibility and obligation to work together to share ideas that will accelerate climate action in cities everywhere. Through powerful networks such as C40 and vital publications like Cities100 we are inspiring change like never before. This year’s Cities100 reveals the scale of our collective ambition to solve the climate crisis. Here you will find 100 steps in the right direction, 100 rebukes to those who would reject the Paris Agreement, and 100 arguments for turning the climate threat into new opportunities to build a better future.
Following the US government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris deal, we need more than ever to show how cities around the globe are takin...