“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” With those words in June 2017 President Trump announced his intentions to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord -- and thrust Pittsburgh into the spotlight.
To this day one of the best taglines I’ve seen is “Local Action Moves the World.” That’s from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability where I was the US Services Director from 2005-2009 and had the pleasure of working with hundreds of local governments across the nation. That line reflects the reality on the ground for a myriad of issues where progress is stymied at the national and international levels. None more so than climate change.
I might not be in Bonn this week for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of the Parties -- commonly known as COP 23 -- but I’m glad to see that mayors and other local government elected officials from around the globe will once again be there en masse to showcase the impact the local communities and leaders have on climate action.