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Mayors call for climate action at SF summit

Civic leaders from across the nation joined San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Tuesday to reveal results of survey to show how cities are combating climate change.

The survey of 158 cities nationwide, conducted by the Alliance for a Sustainable Future, found that 65 percent of cities use renewable electricity for municipal operations and 80 percent of municipal vehicle purchases are made in cities that have policies in purchasing sustainable vehicles.

Additionally, survey found more than 70 percent of cities have sustainable energy policies for new and existing buildings and many cities are working with businesses to identify solutions in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Breed said climate change was the defining issue of our time during a press conference at City Hall:

“The choice we make today, the commitments we can agree on and our sustained corporation, will determine whether or not we rise to the challenge.”

Breed added:

“Fighting climate change takes all of our cities working together to share information, practices and ideas so we can come up effective solutions that will protect our environment for generations to come.”

Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbus, Ohio, speaks about the impacts of climate change in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. Jerold Chinn/SFBay
Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbus, Ohio and the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said it was a mistake for President Donald Trump to withdraw the nation from the Paris Agreement on climate change:

“The president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement is not only short-sighted but is not representative of our nation’s leaders and their communities.”

Climate change effects are affecting cities around the world, including in New Bedford, Massachusetts where it was once of the biggest ports to bring lobster, said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell:

“We’re no longer that because the water has gotten warmer and those lobsters, even though they have those small legs have migrated north.”

Some mayors are heading back to the East Coast to deal with Hurricane Florence and Hawaii is being hit with a second hurricane within the last three weeks.

A person holds a poster that says Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell was unable to attend a press conference with other mayors at City Hall in San Francisco, Calif, on Tuesday, September 11, 2018. Jerold Chinn/SFBay
A person holding a poster of Mayor Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu said the mayor was “unable to attend due to climate change” as he prepares Honolulu residents for possibly a hurricane or tropical storm.

Hawaii is expected to be hit by a low-grade hurricane or tropical storm known as Olivia, according to the National Weather Service.

The mayors are here in The City to attend the Global Action Climate Summit takeing place from Wednesday through Friday with more than 300 events affiliated with the summit.

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