(Washington, DC) – A historic agreement on climate change was reached today by nations who have gathered and negotiated at the COP21 in Paris for the past two weeks. The negotiators worked long and hard to send a strong and coordinated message that governments from around the world are ready to address climate change. Today’s announcement represents a significant step forward in the global fight to address climate change on a local level.
“I congratulate the negotiators in Paris and the commitment of national leaders across the globe to deliver this deal,” said DC Mayor Bowser. “I am hopeful that this agreement will move the world toward a more sustainable future. The District of Columbia is proud to be one of the first cities to attain compliance with the international Compact of Mayors. And as our nation’s capital, we will continue to lead in green energy and sustainable practices. By taking bold and concrete steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we will improve the long-term health of our community, while creating good paying jobs that build pathways to the middle class for our residents.”
“Cities are already seeing the positive effects of their commitment to climate action and the Compact of Mayors, and through this new agreement, we will continue to see another wave of innovation and investment in solutions to address climate change,” said Department of Energy and Environment Director Tommy Wells, who represented the District of Columbia at COP21. “Here in the District, we are already seeing the benefits of our actions to reduce carbon emissions and prepare for climate change. Our investments in clean wind and solar to power our public buildings will not only cut emissions, but save tax payers more than $65 million over the next 20 years. Expanding our tree canopy and green spaces not only help us adapt to heavier rain events and hotter temperatures, but also make our neighborhoods healthier and more livable.”
Members of C40, a network of world’s largest cities committed to address climate change, have already taken 10,000 climate actions since the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009. In Paris, C40 cities reaffirmed their leadership by committing to reduce CO2 emissions by a combined 3 trillion tons by 2030, an amount equivalent to the annual carbon output of India.
The District will continue to do its part through its commitment to cut emissions 80% by 2050. We have already reduced emissions 23% since 2006, and will continue to ramp up our efforts to cut energy use and invest in renewable energy and clean transportation solutions.
As the talks in Paris began, President Obama called on all the nations assembled to make Paris the turning point toward preserving our planet. Thanks to this historic agreement, we have turned that corner, but now the real work towards building a more sustainable and prosperous planet must begin.