Norfolk mayor takes step to reduce impacts of climate change

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Mayor Kenny Alexander submitted a letter of intent Friday to comply with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

City of Norfolk officials say this is the world’s largest cooperative effort among municipal leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, track progress and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

“While the president’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement concerns me, Norfolk remains committed to playing its part in improving our environment,” the mayor said. “In addition to having an office of resiliency, I am pleased to announce that Norfolk has joined an international coalition of mayors and cities dedicated to establishing goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental behaviors. There are many practical measures the City can take to reduce its level of greenhouse gas emissions, and it is critical that we inventory our efforts thus far in improving our energy efficiency. By taking bold action and tracking progress transparently, Norfolk and the other member cities are demonstrating what can be accomplished when cities are empowered and supported to reduce emissions, build resilience and work collaboratively.”

Officials say cities already account for more than 70 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and with urbanization on the rise, it is projected that nearly 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, making cities the epicenter of climate solutions.