Conference: US mayors may shape national climate policy

Alan Diaz, Associated Press

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, points to a photo as Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, left, looks on during a tour showing where the city has raised streets and installed pumps to combat rising tides, Friday, June 23, 2017, in Miami Beach, Fla. The U.S. Conference of Mayors opens its annual meeting Friday in Miami Beach. Mayors of cities with populations of 30,000 or more will discuss plans to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint and protect immigrant families.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — With the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, national policy on climate change will emerge from U.S. cities working to reduce emissions and become more resilient to rising sea levels, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at the annual U.S. Conferences of Mayors meeting in Miami Beach.

The conference supported the Paris agreement, and according to preliminary results released Saturday morning from an ongoing nationwide survey, the vast majority of U.S. mayors want to work together and with the private sector to respond to climate change.

“There’s near unanimity in this conference that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it. There may be a little bit of a disagreement about how actually to deal with it,” said Landrieu, who will replace Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett as conference president this weekend.

“If the federal government refuses to act or is just paralyzed, the cities themselves, through their mayors, are going to create a new national policy by the accumulation of our individual efforts,” he said.

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