Mayor Kasim Reed Accepts Climate Leadership Role with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Mayor Kasim Reed announced he will join the board of the city-led Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy – a soon-to-be-launched coalition of more than 7,100 cities committed to climate change – working to advance climate action both in the City of Atlanta and around the globe. In this role, Mayor Reed will work to galvanize city climate strategy across the United States, set the direction of the coalition and work to elevate the voice and role of cites on the global stage. Mayor Reed’s role on the board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is a strong acknowledgement of the work being done in Atlanta.  “I’m proud to be joining the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy as a member of the board during this critical time for city-based climate action. Atlanta has made strong contributions towards building a low-carbon future, working to set carbon reduction targets and implementing changes that are necessary forces to propel the world towards reaching the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement,” said Mayor Reed. “We know that cities are stronger when we work together, and our collaboration through the Global Covenant of Mayors can demonstrate our impact and give us an even greater platform from which to advocate for greater support from our national and local governments.”

“As cities committed to the Compact of Mayors and Covenant of Mayors, we’ve demonstrated the potential to reduce emissions on a global scale and accelerate progress. As a representative for the citizens and cities across the United States, I will work with the Global Covenant of Mayors leadership to set the course for future climate action and ensure that local communities have a seat at the table and the support they need. Now more than ever, local voices must be heard, and it is up to this coalition to unlock the full potential of city action to secure a sustainable urban future for all,” Mayor Reed added.

Mayor Reed is among the leading city executives in the U.S. on climate change. In 2015, he addressed a joint U.S.-China summit on climate in Los Angeles, sharing many of the ideas and solutions currently in use in the City of Atlanta with an audience of hundreds of Chinese officials and dignitaries. Mayor Reed also presented at the World Economic Forum Conference on Urban Mobility and the McKinsey & Co. Global Infrastructure Initiative in San Francisco. Both events featured national and international business and government leaders, and focused on developing solutions for transportation and sustainability challenges as the world’s population shifts.

In December 2015, Mayor Reed traveled to Paris, France to participate in the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, organized by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, both board members with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. Mayor Reed also participated in a panel discussion with city executives from four countries with the United Nations Twenty-First Conference of the Parties, a series of negotiations among world leaders to make an agreement to address global climate change, known as COP 21. The Paris Agreement was ratified later in December 2015.

Under Mayor Reed’s leadership, the City of Atlanta is innovating in implementing solutions for climate change and sustainability. Among them: undertaking a project to increase its reserve waters supply from three days to 90 days by turning Bellwood Quarry into a reservoir; the Solar Atlanta initiative that will see solar panels installed on 28 firehouses and recreation center, lowering energy consumption by as much as 40 percent, and the Better Buildings Challenge, a national initiative to lower commercial energy consumption. The City of Atlanta currently leads among participating cities in the Challenge, with buildings representing more than 100 million square-feet of office space involved.