This article is 5 years old. It was published on October 22, 2017.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the 16 other cities that host research from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Change Website today call on others to make this climate change information available on their local government sites. The Trump administration unceremoniously removed information on climate change and its effects from federal government websites on April 29. The EPA stripped additional content on October 19, including the removal of resources helping local officials to adapt to global warming and the elimination of over 15 mentions of climate change.
“While the Trump administration buries their heads deeper in the sand when it comes to climate change, local leaders from across the country continue to confront the challenge head-on,” Mayor Emanuel said. “It is encouraging to see more mayors sharing the facts about climate change that the Trump EPA is trying to hide. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in cities across the country to do our part to educate citizens about the realities of climate change and enact policies to cut carbon emissions at the local level.”
The Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology uploaded this information to an open-sourced website in May so that other cities, academic institutions, and organizations can post it to their own websites at https://chicago.github.io/climatechangeisreal/. It includes information on the basic science behind climate change, the different ways in which weather is impacted from increased greenhouse gas emissions, and actions the federal government has taken to reduce the impact. All 17 cities will continue to build out and make updates to their climate change pages in the face of continued efforts by the federal government to downplay the reality of global warming.
After the creation of the City of Chicago “Climate Change is Real” website on May 7, Mayor Emanuel called on other Mayors to follow Chicago’s lead and post the climate change information, ensuring the public has ready access to information the EPA developed over decades of research. In recent months, Mayors from Burlington, VT, Minneapolis, MN, South Bend, IN and Syracuse, NY have joined the initial 12 cities that created city sites. The Mayors and cities posting information include:
- Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Georgia
- Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, Massachusetts
- Mayor Miro Weinberger of Burlington, VT
- Mayor Steve Hagerty of Evanston, Illinois
- Mayor Lioneld Jordan of Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, Texas
- Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Mayor Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, MN
- Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, Louisiana
- Mayor Jim Kenney of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon
- Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco, California
- Mayor Tim Burgess of Seattle, Washington
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, IN
- Mayor Lyda Krewson of St. Louis, Missouri
- Mayor Stephanie Miner of Syracuse, NY
“Access to climate change data and research is critical in decision-making and necessary to build resilient cities,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “As a coastal city, Boston is proactively working to protect our communities from rising sea levels, and our approach is led by a data-driven analysis of our long-term vulnerability to climate change. I’m proud to stand with other mayors in addressing climate change head on, because we know the threat is real.”
"It is our responsibility to ensure our citizens know the facts about climate change. Cities have to be leaders on climate change by promoting energy efficiency and strategically investing in renewable energy for our future, "St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said. “Cities across the country must work together to craft cost-effective solutions that benefit the well-being of both people and the environment."
“While this administration continues to deny essential information regarding climate change, San Francisco will join together with other cities to confront this challenge,” San Francisco Mayor Ed said. “We will step in by providing our residents and the people of this country with the facts and figures they need to know about the perils of climate change. We must confront the truth about climate change, not hide from it.”
On June 7, Mayor Emanuel signed an Executive Order formalizing Chicago’s commitment to adopt the guidelines of the Paris Agreement after President Trump withdrew the United States, reneging on a consensus with 196 countries on environment protections. The Executive Order doubles down on the Paris Agreement’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
This builds on recent progress of Chicago’s reduction in carbon emissions by 11 percent from 2010 to 2015, despite an increase in population. This is equivalent to shutting down a coal power plant for 8 months, and means Chicago is now 40 percent of the way to meeting Paris commitments.
Mayor Emanuel’s leadership on issues of climate change and sustainability is clear and Chicago will continue to take action.
Chicago will host the North American Climate Summit on December 4 – 5, which will bring together municipal leaders from across the United States, Canada and Mexico to articulate commitments to the Paris Agreement. Mayors will commit to moving forward with significant emissions reductions regardless of action taken by their respective federal governments. Mayors will also announce city-specific climate programs and commit to working through existing organizations, such as Climate Mayors, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and ICLEI to develop city partnerships. Commitments will be clustered around central themes to better aggregate impact for Mayors who are looking to peers for new ideas.
Below is a list of all URLs created using Chicago’s open source data and the EPA Climate Change information:
City of Atlanta, Georgia http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=18
City of Boston, Massachusetts http://climatechangedata.boston.gov/
City of Burlington, Vermont https://climatechange.burlingtonvt.gov/
City of Evanston, Illinois http://climatechangeisreal.s3-website.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/
City of Fayetteville, Arkansas http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/3281/Climate-Change
City of Houston, Texas http://www.greenhoustontx.gov/climate-change-is-real.html
City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin http://milwaukee.gov/ClimateChangeIsReal
City of Minneapolis, Minnesota http://www.minneapolismn.gov/sustainability/climate-action-goals/epaclimate
City of Portland, Oregon http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/climatechangeisreal
City of San Francisco, California http://epaclimatechange.sfgov.org/