US mayors unanimously pass climate change ideas

HOUSTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of mayors from across the country unanimously approved a resolution
Monday that calls on cities to use natural solutions to fight the effects of climate change.
Attendees of the U.S. Conference of Mayors voted in Dallas on the resolution that encourages cities to
use nature to “protect freshwater supplies, defend the nation’s coastlines, maintain a healthy tree and
green space cover and protect air quality,” sometimes by partnering with nonprofit organizations.
The resolution was backed by Democratic mayors from GOP-dominated states — Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell,
Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.
It passed easily even though Republicans and Democrats remain deeply divided over how to deal with
climate change. Although science shows human industrial activity is contributing to global warming, some
conservatives remain skeptical.
“What’s so significant is that there was a unanimous vote on an issue that can be so divisive,” said
Laura Huffman, director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas. “When you peel away the high-level arguments
and deal with the ground-level issues everyone just rolls up their sleeves and gets to work.”
Mayors are looking for alternatives to traditional infrastructure projects that will be cost-effective
and provide residents with amenities.
For example, Huffman said, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is combining traditional pipes with open
spaces as he revamps the city’s storm water collection system. These open spaces collect water much like
pipes do, while providing residents with additional parks.
“We’re seeing that all over the country,” Huffman said.
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