An open letter to mayors and local government leaders

Dear Mayor,

We are writing to you today to invite you to join the Race to Zero, a global campaign launched by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). By taking part in this effort, you will play a critical role in building momentum and raising climate ambition ahead of the 2021 UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow this November – the most important climate talks since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.

Each year, we continue to see unprecedented climate impacts here in the United States and around the world, and mayors are on the frontlines, fighting against those impacts while protecting residents. That’s why this November, when national governments from around the world meet in Glasgow for COP26 to outline the actions they will take to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, it is critical that your voice be added to the conversation. The United States would not be in a position to lead on climate without your hard work over these past years and the Biden-Harris Administration wants to stand and collaborate with you on this critical issue.

That is why we are reaching out today – to ask your city to join the Cities Race to Zero, the official pathway for city leaders to participate in the Race to Zero campaign. Cities are a critical component to this campaign, both domestically and abroad, and the Cities Race to Zero provides an opportunity for your city to align with these global efforts, commit to science-based targets, and work with us to help implement the actions needed that will not only address our climate goals but also build the economy we desperately need. Over 800 cities around the world, including over 90 in the United States, have already joined this global movement.

Cities who commit to join Cities Race to Zero will pledge to adopt a science-based emissions reduction target to reach net zero by 2050 and an interim target which reflects a fair share of the 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030, as identified in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°Celsius. A toolkit along with a set of resources are available to support cities in setting this target. Additionally, cities will pledge to commit to implementing at least one urgent, inclusive climate action and report their progress.

For more information on the Cities Race to Zero criteria and how to join, please visit and register by 14 October to ensure that your city is counted ahead of COP26.

We hope you will join this important initiative in the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow and work with us as we implement these goals in communities across the country.


Secretary John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Advisor
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles and Chair of C40 Cities
Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston and Chair of Climate Mayors
Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions Global Ambassador, Race to Zero and Race to Resilience Campaigns

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