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Climate Action

Posted on: June 20, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Charlottesville Recommits to Climate Action

Logo for the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy

City Council passed a resolution on June 19, 2017 as its "Response to the Announced US Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement". The resolution indicates continued commitment on behalf of Charlottesville to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and working as part of a global community to reduce the severity of climate change and proactively prepare our community to adapt to changes in our area's climate.  In addition, City Council provided direction for join the Compact of Mayors commitment.

Full text of the adopted resolution is below: 

RESOLUTION IN RESPONSE TO THE ANNOUNCED UNITED STATES WITHDRAWAL FROM THE PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

WHEREAS, the City of Charlottesville desires to protect and enhance quality of life for all those who live, work, learn and play in our community, as well as for our children and grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, there is scientific consensus regarding the reality of climate change and the recognition that human activity, especially the combustion of fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases, is an important driver of climate change; and

WHEREAS, climate change has been widely recognized by government, business, academic, and other community leaders as a worldwide threat with the potential to harm our economy, safety, public health, and quality of life; and

WHEREAS, climate change affects all residents and businesses, but communities that already face socioeconomic and health inequities will be most severely impacted and such communities therefore require an investment in resilience that is proportionate to these more severe risks; and

WHEREAS, addressing energy efficiency and climate change will promote a cleaner environment, a more prosperous economy by attracting jobs and positive economic development, increased comfort and health in homes, and a higher quality of life; and

WHEREAS, it is local and state governments, along with businesses and academic institutions, are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gases in recent years; and

WHEREAS, the City of Charlottesville has committed to promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate change programs community-wide and within its own organization; and

WHEREAS, the City of Charlottesville has a legacy of climate protection leadership (endorsed the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006, published the first community GHG Emissions Inventory Report in 2008, formally collaborated with neighboring partners in promoting energy efficiency and climate change programs in 2009 and obtained critical grant funding to launch a local energy alliance, participated in the Local Climate Action Planning Process that was completed in 2011, issued an Emissions Inventory Update Report in 2012 which included a 10% community emissions reduction goal, competed in a national energy reduction competition in 2015 and 2016, and continues to deliver an active Climate Protection Program); and

WHEREAS, the City of Charlottesville has already taken a variety of important actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our community (intensive efficiency improvements in municipal buildings, incentive and assistance programs for resource efficiency, partnering on a series of Solarize campaigns, and expanded public transportation system, a robust urban forest management program, the 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, the 2016 Streets That Work guidelines, a growing portfolio of green infrastructure projects and efforts, investment in and promotion of renewable energy technology, partnership with and support of community clean energy nonprofits and businesses); and

WHEREAS, the City of Charlottesville is in the process of exploring additional strategies to further pursue and support clean energy; and

WHEREAS, we are joined in taking action on climate change by a global coalition of cities, state and national governments and community and private sector leaders who recognize the importance and potential of these actions to protect and enhance the well-being of current and future generations; and

WHEREAS, 195 countries, including the United States, vowed to address climate change in agreements reached in Paris in December 2015 (the “Paris Agreement”), the first global commitment to fight climate change; and 

WHEREAS, President Donald Trump’s announcement regarding withdrawal by the United States of America from the Paris Agreement undermines this critical global effort to confront one of the greatest challenges facing our community and communities all across the one planet we all share; and

WHEREAS, the absence of federal leadership only increases the importance of local leadership in avoiding the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Charlottesville re-affirms its commitment to taking action to reduce climate pollution; and be it 

FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Charlottesville continues to support the principles of the Paris Agreement and the participation of the United States of America as a party to the Paris Agreement; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Charlottesville will continue to stand with cities and other public and private sector partners throughout the world to advance action in accordance with the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. 

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