November 1, 2013 -- In recognition of Houston’s leadership on sustainability issues, Mayor Annise Parker was selected today as a member of President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise the administration on how the federal government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with extreme weather and other climate impacts.
President Obama established the task force as part of his Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare communities for the impacts of climate change that cannot be avoided, and lead international efforts to address this global challenge. Mayor Parker will play an integral role in ensuring the Task Force’s recommendations to the President are responsive to the needs of all stakeholders in the Houston area.
“I am honored to have been chosen for this prestigious position and eager to be able to represent Houston’s pragmatic and diverse points of view on this issue,” said Mayor Parker. “We are a city that is forward thinking when it comes to sustainability and the environment. We have a wealth of technological expertise in our existing energy sector. In fact, those companies are becoming the leaders in development of the new technologies that will support our nation’s future environmental policies.”
Across America, states, cities, and communities like Houston are planning, innovating, and preparing for climate impacts and taking steps to protect themselves from extreme weather. Houston is already contending with severe heat waves, droughts, storms and floods.
Some of Houston’s work and accomplishments:
- Rebuild Houston: a voter-approved, pay-as-you-go initiative to rebuild city streets to rebuild the city’s street and drainage infrastructure to reduce street and structural flooding.
- Bayou Greenways Initiative: a $220 million public-private partnership that will add 1500 acres of new and equitably distributed green spaces that can also serve the function of flood control and storm water quality enhancement. It will also complete 150 miles of continuous all-weather hike and bike trails that will meander through those greenways — an amenity unparalleled in the nation. This will add to Houston’s 540 miles of existing bike trails.
- Largest municipal purchaser of renewable energy in the nation
- Third largest municipal hybrid fleet in the nation
- Achieved a greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 26% compared to the City’s 2007 greenhouse gas emissions inventory
- Top 10 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency list of cities with the most energy efficient buildings
- Replaced the incandescent bulbs at all of the City’s 2,450 signalized intersections with LEDs
- Expanded availability of electric vehicle infrastructure and solar powered parking meters
The State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience will develop recommendations for the President on how the Federal Government can best support state, local and tribal leaders in their efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change. This will include recommendations for removing Federal barriers to resilient investments, modernizing Federal grant and loan programs to better support local priorities, developing the information and tools we need to prepare our communities, and other relevant measures.
More information on the Task Force on Climate Preparedness is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/resilience/taskforce.