The historic Paris Climate Agreement recognized local governments as critical to achieving global climate
outcomes. Nations cannot succeed without the full and active participation of local communities, led by
elected officials who demonstrate bold action.
The delegation of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI) leaders at the UNFCCC’s 26th
Conference of the Parties (COP26) underscores the importance of the US government partnering with
local governments to meet national climate targets. ICLEI USA and its delegation bring evidence of
moving beyond commitments to concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the local level.
ICLEI USA announced today its delegation of five local leaders representing the ICLEI network.
Honorable Mayor Frank Cownie Des Moines, IA and ICLEI USA President. Mayor Cownie is also a leader in the US Conference of Mayors and a leader in several UN initiatives including the SE4All 24/7 carbon free
electricity compact. Des Moines is the first U.S. city to enact a resolution to secure carbon-free electricity
every hour of every day by 2035.
Councilmember Kelly Takaya King Maui County, HI and ICLEI USA Board Member. The council member is
a longtime business leader in renewable fuels and serves as a local government representative to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency‘s advisory group. Her goals for Maui span the field of sustainability,
especially toward closed-loop, circular economic development.
Honorable Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Miami-Dade County, FL. Miami-Dade County is the largest in
Florida and one of the most populous in the country, and faces direct challenges from climate change such as rising sea levels, extreme heat, hurricanes, and others. Prior to her trip to COP26, Mayor Levine Cava will unveil Miami-Dade’s new Climate Action Strategy – a comprehensive plan outlining ways County government is working to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030 from 2019 levels, with the objective of reaching net zero by 2050. For the last 30 years, Miami-Dade has proudly partnered with ICLEI to inventory our greenhouse gases and project goals for getting to zero emissions. The Mayor was also recently invited to join the Global Resilience Cities Network (R-Cities) Mayors and City Leaders Taskforce of the Resilient Cities Network.
Honorable Mayor Bill Peduto Pittsburgh, PA and ICLEI USA Board Member. Mayor Peduto represents
North America as a board member to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. Mayor
Peduto was awarded first place for the 14th Annual Climate Protection Awards, an initiative sponsored by
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Walmart. Last November, he released a Marshall Plan for
MidAmerica, which would diversify the regions energy production and economy and reduce inequality.
Commissioner Brigid Shea Travis County, TX and ICLEI USA Board Chair. The commissioner serves as a city ambassador for the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance. She is the co-founder of SOS, Austin’s
historic law to save Barton Springs, and has been a climate activist for 33 years. She has pioneered
programs to improve community preparedness for devastating climate impacts. Her Neighborhood Fire
Drills won the National Association of Counties excellence award.
These leaders will demonstrate bold action they are taking to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050
while protecting their communities from the devastating effects of climate-driven extreme weather,
promote climate justice, and create new economic opportunities in their communities.
“It is inspiring to see all the local governments that are stepping up and fighting climate change by
reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is our communities that are on the front line, bearing the brunt of
climate disasters and creating new ways to be better prepared,” said Brigid Shea, ICLEI USA Board Chair
and Travis County TX Commissioner. “We are full partners with the US and other nations of the world
in tackling this enormous challenge.”
“Climate Change is happening globally, we are held accountable nationally and we are managing
mitigation efforts locally. It’s important that we bring together all levels of government, nonprofit and
advocacy partners on an international scale to host an ambitious, inclusive 2021 United Nations Climate
Change Conference. The City of Pittsburgh is honored to represent our region with several local partners
and the global community to collaborate and find scalable solutions so that our recoveries are infused
with equitable economies that promote sustainable industries,” said William Peduto, ICLEI USA Board
Member and Mayor of Pittsburgh.
“This is a critical moment for our community and for the world to address the threat of climate change
and to build a cleaner, greener, more stable, and more prosperous future,” said Miami-Dade Mayor
Daniella Levine Cava. “In Miami-Dade County, climate change is not a distant danger on the horizon, but
a growing threat already at our doorstep. I’m excited to head to Glasgow to connect with leaders from
around the globe as we work together to adapt and invest in tackling the impacts of a changing climate
“Leaders have gathered at COP26 during the pandemic because climate change is the most profound
crisis we face as a global community and there is no more time to waste. Local governments have
proven that success is possible, and we stand ready to share our knowledge with those who are unsure
where or how to begin. We must end our decades of hollow discussion and undertake the initiatives
necessary to solve this urgent crisis. Join me and my fellow partners at ICLEI and together we can stem
the rising tide of climate change,” said Frank Cownie, ICLEI USA President and Mayor of Des Moines.