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Giving Compass' Take:
• Chris Teale reports that as President Trump rejects the federal climate report that his administration put out, cities are stepping up to address the consequences outlined therein.
• How can funders work with local governments to mitigate the damage of climate change equitably?
• Learn about cities tackling climate change.
A federal report on climate change in November painted an alarming picture of the future of the planet, but at the local level, city leaders are embracing their role as leaders on the environment and looking for ways to do more.
Scientists from 13 different agencies wrote the Fourth National Climate Assessment, and the authors warned, while climate effects differ by location, "all regions will be affected by climate change."
President Donald Trump told reporters, "I don’t believe it" when asked for his response to the report’s findings, and insisted the country is the "cleanest we’ve ever been." Trump has also recently questioned the existence of global warming given cold temperatures over Thanksgiving.
Given those comments and complementing actions such as Trump's withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said repeatedly that the federal government is "asleep at the wheel," so the onus is on cities to fight the effects of climate change, including extreme weather and the impacts on transportation and infrastructure.
"There are cities and states stepping up and doing the job," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said during a speech this month at the LA CoMotion Leadership Conference. "[We] don't need the White House, we just need this house."
"More frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities," the report’s authors wrote.
Cities have already been affected by such events with increasing regularity in the past few years, with experts previously saying the spate of wildfires that have dogged California are the "new normal." Meanwhile, cities like Houston have been battered by hurricanes and have spent over a year recovering and rebuilding, with the report calling the 2017 series of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria "unprecedented" in their scale and intensity.
Read the full article about the impact of the federal climate report by Chris Teale at Smart Cities Dive.