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ICLEI USA Statement on President Obama's Climate Action Plan

Jun 25, 2013

President Obama will deliver a speech at Georgetown University (June 25, 2013), outlining his President's Climate Action plan, which ICLEI USA and others have reviewed in advance. Below, leading local elected officials and ICLEI USA's MIchael Schmitz weigh in on the plan from a local government perspective. We'll add more statements from mayors as we receive them.

View the Climate Action Plan >> (pdf)

View the Fact Sheet >> (pdf)


Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento CA
First Vice President, U.S. Conference of Mayors and Chair, Resilient Communities for America campaign:

  • “President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is welcome news to mayors, because our communities have been on the front lines of climate change and the new reality of extreme weather it has created.”
  • “Creating more prepared, resilient communities is a top national priority. The preparedness initiatives outlined by President Obama today are a great first step, and a strong complement to our own local efforts.”
  • “Last week more than 50 top mayors and county leaders pledged to work toward creating more prepared, resilient communities in the face of our extreme weather and energy challenges. President Obama's Climate Action Plan will strengthen and support this new leadership movement."
  • “The vision of economic opportunity President Obama laid out resonates strongly with local elected officials, because we’re already making it happen. In cities and regions across the country, we’re creating clean energy jobs and strengthening local economies. And as we scale up renewable energy and energy efficiency, we make our communities healthier and reduce our carbon footprint."
  • "Climate action is a win-win for America, and you only have to look to cities to understand that.”


Supervisor Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County, CA:
ICLEI USA Board Member

  • “From the local government perspective, controlling carbon emissions from power plants is incredibly cost-effective. When you consider that extreme weather events driven by climate change cost us $188 billion over the past two years, any preventive action we can take to slow the pace of climate change is a necessary and urgent investment. Our cities and counties are on the front lines of those disasters, and the cost is simply too high.”
  • “President Obama’s announcement is incredibly important to local government leaders, and we are hoping it will lead to a new era of local–federal collaboration on climate change.”
  • “Local governments have long been the leaders on climate action, but we’ve said all along that we can’t solve this problem on our own—we need federal action to achieve the necessary greenhouse gas reductions.”


Michael Schmitz, ICLEI USA Executive Director:

  • “ICLEI USA applauds President Obama and the President’s Climate Action Plan. An historic announcement and one the world has been waiting for. These actions will reduce carbon pollution and help us become more prepared for the climate impacts our communities already face."
  • "The initiatives in the Plan reflect that the White House has listened to local governments and considered their needs on disaster preparedness and climate adaptation. We look forward to a new level of local-federal engagement and collaboration.”
  • “Just as President Obama’s plan seeks to connect nations on bilateral climate initiatives, it’s equally important for cities around the world—responsible for 80 percent of the world’s carbon emissions—to work together on climate change solutions. ICLEI’s global network of 1,000 cities and local governments is ready to come together and work with national leaders to accelerate progress.”
  • “More than 800 U.S. cities and counties have taken meaningful steps to address climate change through our network. Local governments are showing that we can meet our climate action goals. President Obama's Climate Action Plan will help local governments achieve their own climate goals, and local action will help us achieve national goals."

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