It was another scorching summer this year in Tucson, Arizona, the second-hottest city in the United States, where even plants adapted to the desert’s harsh conditions wilted amid record-breaking temperatures and scant rainfall.

This summer was the state’s hottest on record, and in August, the city clocked four days that were 43 degrees C (110 degrees F) or hotter and 26 that were over 37 degrees C (99 degrees F). Tucson temperatures are on average 2.5 degrees C (4.5 degrees F) warmer now than in 1970, a greater increase than in most other American cities, according to analysis of weather data by Climate Central.

In September, Tucson’s hottest and driest on record, city officials declared a climate emergency, pledging to become a global leader by working “to promote an ecologically, socially, and economically regenerative local economy at emergency speed.” They promised to come up with a bold climate action and adaptation plan that puts environmental justice and equity at the heart of its green transition.

“The most progressive federal climate actions started as city-led grassroots initiatives,” said Regina Romero, who was elected mayor in 2019 on a climate justice ticket. “Climate action and environmental equity always start from the bottom up.”

This article is part of our Climate Justice collection. Learn more about climate justice, or read the full article about Tucson by Nina Lakhani at Grist.