|HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner is joining world leaders and mayors from across the world at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland. Mayor Turner is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Resilient Cities Network and Chair of Climate Mayors, a bipartisan network of more than 470 U.S. mayors representing 48 states and 74 million Americans. The Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress.
On Wednesday morning, Mayor Turner attended the Climate Breakfast with Mayors featuring United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and mayors from around the globe.
Mayor Turner with Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, Greece
Cities like Houston are hubs of innovation and resilience, and are the closest to the impacts of climate change and on the frontlines of the solutions to mitigate its short- and long-term effects. From clean public transit to green spaces to more energy-efficient buildings and affordable, pollution-free housing, city climate action is the most effective way to create healthy, thriving, more equitable communities while confronting the climate crisis.
The Mayor is scheduled to attend several panel sessions and engagements during the event to discuss Houston and cities’ roles in reaching net zero goals, advancing climate adaptation projects, furthering data and technology growth in multiple sectors, prioritizing an equitable and just energy transition, and strengthening partnerships, all while placing equity and people at the center of the conversation and bringing all partners to the table from all sectors and levels of government.
“Mayors cannot properly address the crisis alone, though. That’s why mayors from around the world are coming together in Glasgow to deliver a resounding message to national governments, business executives, youth activists, and other leaders at COP26,” said Mayor Turner. “Cities around the world are delivering the climate solutions and level of ambition needed to tackle the climate crisis and create a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable future.”
Mayor Turner has been a long-standing climate champion for the City of Houston, having served as Mayor during Hurricane Harvey and enduring multiple 500-year storms in just four years. As part of the City’s recovery efforts, the mayor launched Resilient Houston in February 2020, and the Houston Climate Action Plan on Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in April 2020. These critically important initiatives are focused on transitioning the Energy Capital of the World to a clean energy future and increasing the resilience of communities across the City, prioritizing health, job creation, equality, and sustainability.
Under Mayor Turner’s leadership, the City of Houston has committed to purchasing 100% renewable energy and is the nation’s largest municipal user of renewable energy. The city is also working with the community to build the nation’s largest urban solar farm, the Sunnyside Solar Project — a public-private partnership that will convert a 240-acre closed landfill in one of Houston’s most vulnerable communities. The project will create jobs, generate clean energy, and address one of Houston’s most challenging environmental justice concerns. In conjunction with his Complete Communities Initiative, the project is a prime example of how cities can work with the community to address long-standing environmental justice concerns in a holistic manner, create green jobs, and generate renewable energy in the process.
However, mayors know that the climate crisis we face cannot be dealt with alone and meeting our climate targets requires collaboration across cities, states, regions, and nations through organizations like Climate Mayors, C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors, and more.
“COP provides an opportunity for mayors from around the world to come together and take stock in how far cities have come and how best to take on all that’s left to do to properly meet our targets and address the climate emergency,” said Mayor Turner.