Urgency drives action. We have both coming on strong.
Among global challenges, humankind faces its greatest challenge yet in the sixth extinction. Stephen Hawking has moved up the deadline for when humanity needs to find a new planetary home — from 1,000 years from now to just 100. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board places the hands of the Doomsday Clock at 2.5 minutes before midnight. As a reminder of how quickly the clock is ticking, experts project the oceans will contain more plastics than fish by weight by 2050. And this was all before President Trump threw the world under a bus that can never drive us back to his 1950s vision.
Daunting as it is, we find optimism in the rising global resolve to act in this defining moment. The joint letter in which Mayor Peduto and Paris Mayor Hidalgo reaffirm their support for the Paris Accords is emblematic of the international community coming together through frameworks such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with direct efforts to address climate change. Locally, we see this action in the 1,000-plus businesses, organizations, municipalities, and individuals that have distinguished themselves through Sustainable Pittsburgh’s six sustainability performance programs.
Ironically, the Trump administration’s efforts to stymie progress are only strengthening our resolve. In perhaps the most wide-scale public-private commitment to climate action ever, civic and business leaders are declaring “We Are Still In.” This sign-on campaign has already tallied 246 mayors, 13 states, more than 900 businesses and investors and 183 colleges and universities — together contributing more than $7 trillion to the economy — in formally committing to uphold the Paris climate goals.
Now is the time to act. As an individual, consider taking the I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh Pledge. As an organization, join your local peers in stepping up to one of our performance programs. Together, the Pittsburgh region will continue to show the world we are doing our part to make the planet great again.