MILWAUKEE -- As the United Nations’ International Climate Summit begins in Paris, Milwaukee residents gathered at the Green Roof on top of the Milwaukee Public Library Monday, November 30th to thank Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett for being a leader in clean energy innovation.
"As talks begin in Paris for the U.N.’s Climate Summit, we must not forget the power we have locally to reduce climate change. Cities account for 70% of the total worldwide greenhouse emissions and face the worst risks of the impacts of climate change. Mayor Barrett has taken steps to combat this, such as installing renewable energy sources in city buildings and committing to reducing CO2 emissions in the city. Mayor Barrett has already been recognized for his great work, having won two Climate Protection awards from the U.S. Conference of Mayors for the Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (ME) and ME3 Sustainable Manufacturing programs," Paul Geenen, local advocate and event organizer said.
“We thank Mayor Tom Barrett for taking necessary steps at the city level to combat climate change. However, our leaders in Madison and Washington are doing the exact opposite. Climate change is real and we must take action. The Clean Power Plan is a commonsense rule that will reduce carbon pollution by 32% by 2030. It’s time that other Wisconsin leaders take a page from the city of Milwaukee’s book rather than trying to block the Clean Power Plan," Jonah Hermann, communications director for the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters said.
The Clean Power Plan would result in 90,000 fewer asthma attacks, and 3,600 prevented deaths each year in America, according to these advocates.
“Unfortunately, too many of our state’s leaders are allowing the health of Wisconsinites to hang in the balance as they remain loyal to their corporate polluting friends. We need more decision makers like Mayor Barrett who are working proactively towards a clean energy future," Hermann said.
"Amazingly it really was a group of citizens who stepped forward with our original green team and enacted a lot of the recommendations that the city has acted on over the past 10 years, and it was truly a grassroots effort," Mayor Barrett said.
Mayor Barrett added that he is joining mayors from across the world in pledging to reduce greenhouse gasses.