Orange County

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle joins action on Paris climate accord

Mayor Lydia Lavelle has joined 211 U.S. mayors committed to upholding the Paris climate accord despite President Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal.

Lavelle joined the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda – MNCAA – a mayoral network representing over 54 million Americans. The mayors’ goal is to improve local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and support binding federal and global climate policies.

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger and Durham Mayor Bill Bell previously announced signing onto the agenda, which advocates for clean energy sources, efficient infrastructure, and climate-compatible economic growth.

“We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice,” the mayors stated in response to Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from the Paris accord.

“And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks,” they said.

A Carrboro news release noted the town has been a climate-protection leader since 2001, when the Board of Aldermen adopted a resolution pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and save energy by joining the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) program.

The town has acted since in multiple ways, including a study of local greenhouse gas emissions, support for Solarize Carrboro and the creation of a small business Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund. The board also has adopted a Community Climate Action Plan meant to halve local greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Carrboro and Chapel Hill also are members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, which works to cut carbon emissions in member cities to pre-1990 levels, as noted in the Kyoto Protocol, a 2005 international treaty on greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States is one of three countries that have now rejected the Paris agreement. The others are Syria and Nicaragua.

Tammy Grubb: 919-829-8926, @TammyGrubb