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Mayors chosen to assist Obama on climate action

The new task force is one component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Fourteen US mayors will serve on President Obama’s newly launched State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, according to an announcement today by the White House.

The task force members include bipartisan governors, mayors and tribal leaders from across the country who will use their first-hand experiences in building climate preparedness and resilience in their communities to provide recommendations to the president. The task force is one component of Obama’s Climate Action Plan announced in June.

Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City and Second Vice President of the National League of Cities, is one of the 14 mayors that will work with the taskforce.

Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City

“I am honoured by President Obama’s selecting of me to the task force,” said Becker. “This is an incredibly important issue that affects communities in all corners of the nation and knows no policy affiliation. These issues of climate change adaptation and building resilient communities will require regional, state and federal efforts.  It is great to see President Obama working to coordinate these efforts.”

Becker’s own city faces pressing climate change issues and has already completed a vulnerability assessment. It is now implementing measures to increase resilience to potential climate impacts, working both regionally and nationally with other municipalities to establish best practices for adaptation planning.

In 2008, Becker and Salt Lake City Council signed a joint resolution committing that the city will work to reduce its carbon footprint 50 percent below the 2005 level by 2040, and 80 percent below the 2005 level by 2050. Additionally, the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building will be the first public safety building in the US to achieve a Net Zero rating.

Becker and the National League of Cities are inaugural signatories and core partners respectively in the Resilient Communities for America campaign that promotes local leaders’ commitment to establishing self-defined goals to improve quality of life through climate preparedness, infrastructure renewal, energy security and economic prosperity.

Other mayors participating in the task force include Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles), Kevin Johnson (Sacramento), Michael Nutter (Philadelphia), and Annise Parker (Houston).