On behalf of over 10,000 cities around the world, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) welcomes President Biden’s decision to re-enter the U.S. into the Paris Agreement.
For the past four years, despite a vacuum of national leadership and a convergence of crises, U.S. cities have led the way in honouring the Paris Agreement’s highest ambitions, with many committing to inclusive climate action to limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, resilient, and equitable communities. Many have also banded together with cities from around the world to call for global and ambitious climate action. While U.S. cities have sustained momentum for climate action, national leadership is absolutely necessary to unlock a green and just economic recovery from COVID-19 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. We are hopeful that the United States’ renewed commitment to climate leadership on the global stage will help increase climate ambition and empower local and national collaboration on efforts such as expanding clean energy and low-carbon public transport, or building climate resilience, as we have seen the progress made when cities and national governments come together around a common purpose.
However, we also recognise that the urgency of climate action is greater than it was four years ago and re-joining the Paris Agreement or meeting outdated targets is no longer enough. That is why already 174 U.S cities have joined cities from all around the world to make commitments through the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, including 48 U.S. cities who have expressed the highest level of ambition through the Race to Zero to lay the foundation for a green economic recovery ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). We welcome additional US cities to join this movement, but also recognize that as cities continue to advance these significant commitments, together, the world must raise its collective climate ambition to accelerate emissions reduction goals and prioritise green economic recovery packages that will build stronger and fairer economies and continue moving communities towards a resilient, climate-neutral future. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration to build back better and deliver a sustainable future for all people living in cities across the U.S. and around the world.