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Mayor Rahm Emanuel Hosted The 2017 North American Climate Summit

Chicago welcomed mayors from around the globe to sign the Chicago Climate Charter to fight against climate change

Last month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel held the North American Climate Summit in concert with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy partners, bringing together leaders from the U.S., Canada and Mexico to sign the Chicago Climate Charter and commit to the fight against climate change on the local level.

The Chicago Climate Charter represents more than 50 cities, and tens of millions of people in cities across the world. Special guest speaker President Barack Obama called this “a powerful signal to the world.”

“That’s what leadership means, and it will make a difference,” Obama said as he addressed mayors and municipal leaders gathered in Chicago at the North American Climate Summit.

By signing the Chicago Climate Charter, cities pledged to:

  • Achieve a percent reduction in carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement;
  • Quantify, track and publicly report city emissions, consistent with standards and best practices of measurement and transparency;
  • Advocate alongside other mayors for greater local authority and flexibility to develop policies and local laws that empower cities to take aggressive action on climate;
  • Recognize and include groups traditionally underrepresented in climate policy;
  • Incorporate the realities of climate change and its impacts into local infrastructure and emergency planning through strategies of adaptation and resilience;
  • Support strong regional, state and federal policies and partnerships, as well as private sector initiatives, that incentivize the transition to a new climate economy; and
  • Partner with experts, communities, businesses, environmental justice groups, advocates and other allies to develop holistic climate mitigation and resilience solutions.

“This Charter is a great example of how cities are working together and encouraging one another to aim higher, and it will add momentum to America’s progress fighting climate change,” said America’s Pledge Co-Chair Michael R. Bloomberg. “All the U.S. cities signing the charter are making commitments in support of America’s Pledge – which sends a strong signal to the world that we will keep moving forward toward our Paris goal, with or without Washington. I want to thank Mayor Emanuel for spearheading this effort and for leading by example through his work in Chicago.”

The Summit also featured the fifth-annual C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards, celebrating the most innovative and impactful efforts by mayors to tackle climate change. Recognizing the increasingly important role cities must play in driving climate action in the United States, for the first time ever the Awards celebrated one winner from a US city and one winner from the rest of the world.

Mayors are committed to working through existing organizations, including Climate Mayors, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and ICLEI to develop partnerships with other cities. These commitments made under the Chicago Climate Charter will be clustered around central ideas and themes to better aggregate impact and provide guidance for Mayors who are looking to peers for new ideas.

To view the signed climate charter or for more information, visit

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