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Source: Flickr/Eric Garcetti

What Have The Climate Mayors Accomplished In The Past Year?

By Kristin Hunt

Just over a year ago, Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. The decision was a massive blow to the global fight against climate change — it made America one of just three world nations not committed to the goals of Paris Agreement. (As of today, it is the only nation not part of the deal.) But mere hours after the news broke, a group of 61 U.S. mayors fired back with an announcement of their own: they would be honoring the Paris Agreement anyway. "The world cannot wait," their signed letter read. "And neither will we." 

The letter was updated as more and more mayors leapt to join the cause. By the time the dust settled, 405 mayors had taken the pledge. 

These politicians are often referred to as the "climate mayors," although the official Climate Mayors network dates back to 2014. It's only expanded in the time since, now boasting hundreds of members representing 70 million Americans. To get a sense of what these environmentally-conscious leaders have been doing to honor their pledge, we spoke with Madeline Rogero, the mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, and one of four co-chairs of the Climate Mayors. Via email, she recalled the rush on June 1, 2017, when she and so many others committed to the Paris Agreement, and shared what she's been up to in her own city.