Nashville mayor signs letter urging Congressional climate action

Metro Nashville’s Fire Station 19 generates a portion of its electricity from rooftop solar panels and meets the highest green building standards, demonstrating the city’s efforts to combat climate change. (© Benjamin P. Norton)

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is one of nearly 200 U.S. mayors advocating for a zero-carbon green economy that creates jobs and emphasizes equity by signing onto the Climate Mayors letter, which urges the nation’s Congressional leaders to take bold action on environmental sustainability while also building a more just economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 450 mayors previously committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement when President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the worldwide climate change mitigation program in 2017, and the Climate Mayors are now calling on Congress to invest in economic recovery strategies that promote resilience, equity, and sustainability across America.

Mayors see first-hand the most urgent issues facing our communities today, and Cooper identifies them as, “the ever-present threat of climate change, the challenges to public health and prosperity caused by COVID-19, and racial economic disparities.

In a press release sent on his behalf, Cooper continues, “Cities across America are demonstrating that growth and environmental stewardship go hand-in-hand, and now, our federal government can show the world that investment in a zero-carbon economy has multiple co-benefits for healthcare, housing, jobs, the economy, and the resilience of our infrastructure.”

Many American cities, including several in our Southeastern region, are already pursuing a transition to a zero-carbon economy as a means to create good-paying green jobs, cleaner air, lower carbon emissions, improved public health, and to lift up some of the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Nashville has been hit hard this year with tornadoes, straight-line winds, and the shutdown, and our community knows firsthand how the coronavirus pandemic and climate change hit low-income households and communities of color hardest,” says Amanda Garcia, who directs SELC’s Tennessee office in Nashville. “Climate Mayors are determined to build a strong economy that ensures all Americans are prepared for future health, economic, and environmental shocks, and we commend Mayor John Cooper for making this commitment.”

Garcia is co-chairing the green buildings subcommittee of Mayor Cooper’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and working alongside his administration to recommend strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation that similar infuse resilience, equity, and other benefits such as public health and neighborhood livability in Nashville.

 

For additional details, a full version of the Climate Mayors letter can be found here.

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