The Boston University Initiative on Cities project found that “large-city Republican mayors shy away from climate network memberships and their associated framing of the problem.” According to research fellow Nicolas Gunkel, “but in many cases they advocate locally for policies that help advance climate goals for other reasons, such as fiscal responsibility and public health.” Of the U.S.’s 100 largest cities, only 29 are represented by GOP mayors and 15 of those mayors “have developed or are developing concrete goals that guide their efforts to improve local environmental quality. Many of these actions reduce cities’ carbon footprints, although they are not primarily framed that way.”
As EcoRight favorite Mayor Jim Brainard wrote in a recent op-ed, his town of Carmel, Indiana “used to be a car-centric suburb whose resident drove miles for the amenities of a big city. But Carmel focused on building more than 200 miles of bike and pedestrian trails so people could live a more car-free life, thereby reducing carbon emissions. When it came time to improve the Wastewater Treatment Facility, Carmel chose to capture most of the methane gas produced by the treatment process and repurpose it to heat boilers used in the biosolids process. Lastly, Carmel now has 116 roundabouts instead of traffic signals at intersections. In addition to reducing injury accidents by 80 percent, this changed street engineering substantially, saving the equivalent of over 270 tanker trucks of fuel last year.”
Every bit of action counts, and we proud of the climate leadership shown by EcoRight mayors.