Mayor Lioneld Jordan / File photo
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan joined a growing list of over 40 mayors across the country in signing a letter in response to President Donald Trump’s sweeping executive order to curb the federal government’s enforcement of climate regulations.
The letter, which was also signed by mayors in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta and Chicago through the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA), affirms the cities’ commitment to taking every action possible to achieve the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement and to continue America’s leadership on climate action.
The Paris Climate Agreement’s “central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. [The agreement] brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.” Almost 200 countries signed the agreement in 2015 and more than 141 countries have ratified it, including the United States.
Trump’s executive order overturns the moratorium on coal mining on U.S. federal land, begins a review of the Clean Power Plan, and implores federal agencies to “identify all regulations, all rules, all policies … that serve as obstacles and impediments to American energy independence.”
White House officials said the order is designed to grow American jobs by eliminating “federal overreach” that leads to “theft of prosperity.”
The order also reverses several Obama-era initiatives designed to stop climate change and regulate carbon emissions, including an executive order requiring preparation for the impact of climate change and a memorandum outlining the “growing threat to national security” that climate change poses.
The mayors’ letter warns of the costs of inaction on climate change and encourages President Trump to join America’s cities in moving forward in protecting citizens from the effects of climate change, and create a thriving 21st century economy.
“Climate change is both a very serious threat and a significant economic opportunity for our city and our nation,” said Mayor Jordan in a news release. “Fayetteville is committed to working with other cities and within our community to combat climate change by supporting a low-carbon economy and creating good jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
The Fayetteville City Council on Feb. 7 voted to support the development of a citywide Energy Action Plan that focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging greater deployment of renewable energy, and increasing energy efficiency with fuel-efficient vehicles. City staff have begun working with stakeholders to develop the plan, with the hope of bringing a draft to aldermen for adoption in the fall.
Mayors’ Letter to President Trump on Roll Back of US Climate Actions
March 28, 2017
Dear President Trump,
As members of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA), we represent more than 41 million Americans in 75 cities across our nation—in red and blue states alike. We write to strongly object to your actions to roll back critically important U.S. climate policies including the Clean Power Plan and vehicle fuel efficiency standards, as well as proposed budget cuts to the EPA and critical federal programs like Energy Star.
Climate change is both the greatest single threat we face, and our greatest economic opportunity for our nation. That is why we affirm our cities’ commitments to taking every action possible to achieve the principles and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and to engage states, businesses and other sectors to join us.
U.S. Climate Mayors meeting with their counterparts from China at the U.S. China Climate Summit in Los Angeles 2015
As Mayors, we work with our constituents face-to-face, every day, and they demand that we act on climate to improve quality of life and create economic growth. As public servants and stewards of public funds and infrastructure, we also cannot ignore the costs of inaction. That is why we are also standing up for our constituents and all Americans harmed by climate change, including those most vulnerable among us: coastal residents confronting erosion and sea level rise; young and old alike suffering from worsening air pollution and at risk during heatwaves; mountain residents engulfed by wildfires; farmers struggling at harvest time due to drought; and communities across our nation challenged by extreme weather.
Climate action is also an investment in our economy and job creation—electric vehicles, solar power, energy efficiency and battery storage are all avenues to restoring our nation’s manufacturing base and create good, middle class jobs. Recently, thirty MNCAA cities demonstrated how we can accelerate markets and drive economic growth by issuing a formal Request for Information for the potential acquisition of nearly 115,000 electric vehicles for our municipal fleets.
The private sector recognizes the opportunities of climate action as well. Goldman Sachs is committing $150 billion to clean energy capital. Companies like Microsoft, Wal-Mart, and Google are some of the largest purchasers of solar and renewable energy. Today, one in fifty American jobs is now in the solar sector, surpassing employment in oil, gas, and coal extraction combined. Texas is once again experiencing an energy boom—this time, with wind power. In fact, the majority of wind jobs in the U.S. are in congressional districts that voted for you.
As the “Climate Mayors”, we wrote to you during your transition asking that you work with cities on climate action—the nation’s first responders and economic hubs—and to embrace the Paris Climate Agreement commitment. Instead, we fear your Administration’s recent actions and today’ executive order will undermine America’s leadership on climate action, if not take us backwards.
We urge you to change course, and to join us. In the meantime, America’s cities will continue to lead the way in moving forward in protecting our residents from the disastrous effects of climate change, and creating a thriving 21st century economy.
Mayor Eric Garcetti – City of Los Angeles, CA
Mayor Ed Murray – City of Seattle, WA
Mayor Lioneld Jordan – City of Fayetteville, AR
Mayor Kasim Reed – City of Atlanta, GA
Mayor Martin J Walsh – City of Boston, MA
Mayor Rahm Emanuel – City of Chicago, IL
Mayor Sylvester Turner – City of Houston, TX
Mayor Bill de Blasio – New York City, NY
Mayor Jim Kenney – City of Philadelphia, PA
Mayor Ed Lee – City of San Francisco, CA
Mayor Sam Liccardo – City of San Jose, CA
Mayor Muriel Bowser – Washington, D.C.
Mayor Steve Skadron – City of Aspen, CO
Mayor Steve Adler – City of Austin, TX
Mayor John Hamilton – City of Bloomington, IN
Mayor Miro Weinberger – City of Burlington, VT
Mayor Stephen K Benjamin – City of Columbia, SC
Mayor Michael Hancock – City of Denver, CO
Mayor Roy D Buol – City of Dubuque, IA
Mayor William V Bell – City of Durham, NC
Mayor David Kaptain – City of Elgin, IL
Mayor Lucy Vinis – City of Eugene, OR
Mayor Madeline Rogero – City of Knoxville, TN
Mayor Dennis Coombs – City of Longmont, CO
Mayor Robert Garcia – City of Long Beach, CA
Mayor Philip Levine – City of Miami Beach, FL
Mayor Jon Mitchell – City of New Bedford, MA
Mayor Mitch Landrieu – City of New Orleans, LA
Mayor Libby Schaaf – City of Oakland, CA
Mayor Buddy Dyer – City of Orlando, FL
Mayor Greg Scharff – City of Palo Alto, CA
Mayor Jack Thomas – Park City, UT
Mayor Bill Peduto – City of Pittsburgh, PA
Mayor Ted Wheeler – City of Portland, OR
Mayor Jackie Biskupski – Salt Lake City, UT
Mayor Ted Winterer – City of Santa Monica, CA
Mayor Joe Curtatone – City of Somerville, MA
Mayor Marilyn Strickland – City of Tacoma, WA
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild – City of Tucson, AZ
Mayor Christopher Cabaldon – City of West Sacramento, CA
Mayor Allen Joines – City of Winston Salem, NC