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Climate Mayors Amp Up Fight to Reduce Emissions

Some experts say a clean-vehicle technology reduces air pollution, thus improving public health. (Pixabay)
Some experts say a clean-vehicle technology reduces air pollution, thus improving public health. (Pixabay)
September 18, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS — A group of global leaders, including some Indiana mayors, are launching a new effort in their fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At a Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco last week, the Climate Mayors group announced its Electric Vehicle Collaborative, which will provide cities equal access to competitive pricing and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, who spoke at the event, said a move away from carbon-based fuels would have tremendous health impacts by reducing air pollution.

"There's so many new cases of asthma and other lung-related disease, we need to do everything we can to make our air quality as good as possible,” Brainard said. “We have to focus on our quality of life. And not having a clean environment to live in is going to put us at an economic disadvantage as well."

Also at the summit, 26 cities, states and businesses from around the world joined dozens of others in the Climate Group's Zero Emissions Vehicle Challenge, which Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson explained is encouraging automakers to signal an endgame for fossil-fuel vehicles. She contends the world is uniting to reduce emissions, despite the rhetoric from U.S. leadership.

"We had the announcement from the president with the intention of the U.S. to pull out of the Paris Agreement,” Clarkson said. “And we've seen since that is a lot of players coming forward - both city, businesses and others - coming forward and saying, actually, we're still in, we still want to stick with the Paris Agreement and making these sorts of commitment."

And Brainard added the fight against climate change should include both sides of the aisle.

"I've yet to meet a Republican or a Democrat who wants their family to drink dirty water or breathe dirty air and not leave the earth in a better place than we found it,” the mayor said. “So this has traditionally been a nonpartisan issue, and it should be."

The Climate Mayors group includes mayors from Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Gary, South Bend and West Lafayette, who have pledged to uphold America's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN