Dear Mayor ______ and City Council Members ______ and _______:

We are writing on behalf of the members of our organizations to urge you to vote in favor of the resolution to the Environmental Protection Agency and President Barack Obama asking them to move swiftly to use the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million.

In 2008, eminent climate scientist Dr. James Hansen stated: “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted…CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350ppm.”

Today, CO2 concentrations have already reached 392 ppm. Climate change is not an abstract problem for the future or one that will only affect distant places. Climate change is happening now, we are causing it, and the longer we wait to act, the more we lose and the more difficult the problem will be to solve.

  • The decade from 2000 to 2010 was the warmest on record.
  • According to the Global Humanitarian Forum, climate change is already responsible every year for some 300,000 deaths, 325 million people seriously affected, and economic losses worldwide of U.S. $125 billion.
  • Extreme weather events — hurricanes, blizzards, flooding, drought and heat waves — are striking with increased frequency.
  • Climate change is threatening food security.
  • By 2100, as many as one in 10 species may be on the verge of extinction due to climate change.
  • The world's ice is rapidly melting, threatening water supplies and raising sea levels.

For four decades, the Clean Air Act has protected the air we breathe through a proven, comprehensive, successful system of pollution control that saves lives and creates economic benefits exceeding its costs by many times. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that greenhouse gases are “air pollutants” as defined by the Clean Air Act and that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate them. But the Clean Air Act is under attack by big polluters and their allies in Congress.

Our city prides itself on being a leader in the fight against climate change and for clean air. This resolution is an opportunity to further that leadership at this critical moment. We strongly urge you to vote in favor of the resolution.


[list of sign-ons]

Return to Take-action Toolbox.

Visit the Center's Clean Air Act Web page.

Photo © Robin Silver