Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, has worked more than 20 years as an environmental attorney and advocate.

Recognizing that local leaders and elected officials are on the frontlines of tackling environmental problems while also creating green job opportunities, Earth Day Network (EDN) is calling on cities and their leaders to go 100% renewable by 2050. The Green Cities initiative is engaging participation by mayors, city council members and citizens across the US and the world, urging them to take action to create a green economy and reap the benefits of a renewable city.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. In celebration of this historic event, EDN is also encouraging cities to host Earth Day events and activities. Additionally, EDN is promoting cities to host local forums, engaging their constituents and community members in the renewable energy discussion.

Over the past 20 years, there have been a series of failed attempts to create an effective international treaty to mitigate climate change. In December 2015, global leaders meet in Paris to commit to emission standards and mitigation practices that will finally address climate change. We need a universal climate agreement in Paris that limits global warming to 2°C. Emitting greenhouse gases that increase global temperatures beyond 2°C will have widespread consequences, altering climatic regions all over the world and creating fierce natural weather phenomenon.

Moving to renewable energy has the potential to be economical, drive our economy, and transform the way we put pressure on our environment. Divestment from fossil fuels, green building, and sustainable cities will drive this change.

We have to start from the bottom up– show our representatives that we will lead where they cannot. This starts in your city.

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