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Travis County presents local climate strategies at U.N. climate conference

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 by Seth Smalley

Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea is one of five elected officials selected by Local Governments for Sustainability USA, or ICLEI, to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 26th Conference of the Parties, commonly known as COP26.

The U.N. climate conference is partly responsible for drafting the 2015 Paris Agreement, aimed at preventing a 1.5 degree Celsius average rise in global temperatures, and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the conference, held in Glasgow, Scotland, local leaders will share the strategies they are using to eliminate carbon emissions while simultaneously creating jobs in their regions.

“It is inspiring to see all the local governments that are stepping up and fighting climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is our communities that are on the front line, bearing the brunt of climate disasters and creating new ways to be better prepared,” Shea said. “We are full partners with the U.S. and other nations of the world in tackling this enormous challenge.”

Shea joins Mayor Frank Cownie of Des Moines, Council Member Kelly Takaya King of Maui County, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County, and Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh. A spokesperson for ICLEI wrote that the delegation to the 26th climate summit “underscores the importance of the U.S. government partnering with local governments to meet climate targets.”

In addition to her role as county commissioner, Shea is a board chair for ICLEI and a co-founder of Save Our Springs Alliance. Along with others, Shea created a neighborhood fire-drill program, earning Travis County a best practices award from the Texas Association of Counties.

Photo made available through a Creative Commons license.

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