May 31, 2018 - Energy & Environment

The GOP mayors quietly fighting climate change

Indiana Mayor James Brainard

Carmel, Indiana Mayor James Brainard at a climate change summit. Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

An interesting analysis over at The Conversation shows that a number of GOP mayors are taking steps to make their cities less carbon-intensive, but shy away from overt advocacy.

Why it matters: The post suggests that local steps on global warming may have a more bipartisan foundation — if you look for it — compared to where climate policy stands at the federal level.

Quoted: "In our research at the Boston University Initiative on Cities, we found that large-city Republican mayors shy away from climate network memberships and their associated framing of the problem," writes Boston University research fellow Nicolas Gunkel.

  • "But in many cases they advocate locally for policies that help advance climate goals for other reasons, such as fiscal responsibility and public health," he adds, citing initiatives on energy-savings and local air pollution.

One level deeper: Gunkel looks at planning documents from the 29 largest cities led by GOP mayors.

  • "Among this group, 15 have developed or are developing concrete goals that guide their efforts to improve local environmental quality. Many of these actions reduce cities’ carbon footprints, although they are not primarily framed that way," the piece notes.
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