80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, commercial, residential and public buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions nationwide and cities are best suited to improve building codes, foster community-scale renewable energy, and create other programs and incentives to increase efficiency and reduce energy use in commercial and residential buildings; and

WHEREAS, the transportation sector produces one third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and cities can substantially reduce emissions and vehicle-miles traveled by promoting public transit and more effective land use and transportation planning; and

WHEREAS, cities have been laboratories of innovation, successfully pioneering and demonstrating cost-effective clean energy solutions; and

WHEREAS, over 1,050 mayors have signed The U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging their commitment to reducing their communities’ greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent from their 1990 levels; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has endorsed an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050; and

WHEREAS, more than 430 local elected leaders from across America have called for additional federal resources for communities to implement greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability initiatives by endorsing the Climate Communities/ICLEI-USA Empowering Local Government Climate Action Blueprint; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is authorized under the Clean Air Act, via 42 U.S.C. Section 7403(a) & (b), to make grants to public agencies for demonstration projects to control and prevent air pollution; and

WHEREAS, Congress provided $10 million in both Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 for the EPA to provide grants to local governments to establish and implement climate change initiatives; and

WHEREAS, this grant program, dubbed by EPA as the ‘Climate Showcase Communities’ program is the only current ongoing source of federal funding that supports city initiatives to address climate change; and

WHEREAS, the Climate Showcase Communities program is one of the federal government’s most competitive grant programs, with funding awarded to less than 7% of applicants; and

WHEREAS, current Climate Showcase Communities project that the two rounds of grants awarded by 2015 will save over $19 million in annual energy costs, create 115 jobs, and avoid more than 350,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress and the Administration to support funding for the Climate Showcase Communities program in Fiscal Year 2013 and in future years.