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St. Paul Mayor Coleman joins U.S. mayors in climate-change preparedness effort

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is one of 45 mayors from around the nation to sign on to a national "Resilient Communities for Change" campaign that urges cities to be more prepared to respond to extreme weather.

Organizers say it is crucial for cities to bounce back from climate change-related problems. They list four challenges:

  1. Extreme weather: Record-breaking and destructive extreme weather fueled by a changing climate cost us $110 billion in 2012 with 11 disasters that brought $1 billion or more in damages, following a record 14 major disasters in 2011.
  2. Energy security: A power grid taxed by hotter temperatures, energy sources whose carbon emissions exacerbate climate change, and reliance on costly energy sources all weaken our resilience.
  3. Faltering infrastructure: Aging and unreliable infrastructure (water, energy, transportation, etc.) is further stressed by extreme weather and energy challenges.
  4. Economic uncertainty: Ongoing economic uncertainty has left millions out of work and communities starved for investment; disasters, extreme weather, and energy disruptions further hamper our recovery.

Other mayors taking the pledge include:

  • Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento
  • Mayor Vincent Gray, Washington, D.C.
  • Mayor Bob Filner, San Diego
  • Mayor John Cook, El Paso
  • Mayor Michael Hancock, Denver
  • Mayor Mark Mallory, Cincinnati
  • Mayor Sylvester James, Kansas City
  • Mayor Frank Cownie, Des Moines
  • Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville

The group says:

Local governments have long been the leaders on climate action and sustainability, and they have the ability to take effective, wide-ranging local actions to prepare for climate change impacts, improve local energy independence, renew America’s infrastructure, and strengthen their economies in the process.

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