Former U.S. Democratic vice president and environmental activist Al Gore praised Nashville Democratic Mayor John Cooper for a new initiative patterned after the Paris Climate Accord.
Cooper recently announced his initiative, as part of what is known as the Global Covenant of Mayors, in a press release.
“Mayor Cooper’s administration will also work toward reducing Nashville’s community-scale emissions 30 percent by 2030 and 70 percent by 2050. To lead by example, CO2-reduction targets for Metro Government will be 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050,” Cooper’s press release said.
“Using Nashville’s most recent emissions inventories as a baseline, these targets were developed upon surveying those adopted by peer and aspirational cities and align with science-based recommendations in the Paris Climate Accord to reduce absolute CO2 emissions by three percent annually until 2050 in order to hold global warming to 2°C.”
In the press release, Gore said Cooper “is thinking globally and acting locally — as we all should.”
The Global Covenant of Mayors is a precursor to the city participating in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a coalition of 94 leading cities around the world who say they want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to Cooper’s press release.
Cooper’s other climate change initiatives include, among other things, a solar panel array atop the Metro Courthouse, which he will include in the next Capital Improvements Budget. Cooper’s initiative also includes a Sustainability Advisory Board to review active proposals as they are implemented through legislation, according to Cooper’s press release.
Cooper also plans to install solar power across other Metro facilities, the press release said.
“This would constitute the first retrofit of an existing Metro building under the Metro Council’s local ‘Green New Deal’ enacted under Ordinance Nos. BL2019-1599 and -1600,” Cooper’s press release said.
“This legislation adopted a renewable energy standard outlining staged goals toward eventually achieving 100 percent renewable energy for Metro-owned buildings by 2041. The ‘Green New Deal’ legislation also adopts an energy retrofit program across at least 9 percent of metro government-owned buildings with a goal of achieving at least 20 percent.”
As The Tennessee Star reported in 2017, former Nashville mayor Megan Barry criticized U.S. Republican President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, which, in effect, declared that as mayor she was bound by Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution, which prohibits state governments specifically, and metropolitan governments within states by extension, from entering “into any treaty, alliance, or confederation.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Al Gore” by JD Lasica. CC BY 2.0. Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by euthman. CC BY-SA 2.0.