Columbia mayor commits to climate change initiatives

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Mayor Brian Treece signed on to Climate Mayors coalition to strengthen local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

Over 80 mayors across the country have joined the coalition, including St. Louis and Kansas City. 

"Columbia has long been a leader in sustainability," said Treece in a statement released Friday. "Working together to address climate change is part of the City's culture and values." 

Treece also said climate change is a major concern for the Midwest because it has "a direct impact on insurance losses, insurance premiums and economic competitiveness."

Treece is expected to ask the city council to support the initiative at the next council meeting on Monday, June 5th. 

"Columbia has always been a leader in sustainability and promoting energy efficiency, and I think we need to continue doing all that we can to reduce our greenhouse emissions to promote energy efficiency," said Ward Five Council Member Matt Pitzer. "Doing all those things that are good for the environment, but also good for our economy." 

He said being energy efficient can reduce the costs on area businesses and residents. He also said it attracts a lot of high paying jobs in high growth areas. 

"I think we need to look at everything the city has already done and kind of set some metrics on improvements we have made," Pitzer said. 

Council members Karl Skala and Ian Thomas also told KOMU 8 they supported Treece's decision and support combating climate change. 

This comes just one day after President Donald Trump announced his intentions to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which over 190 counties across the globe are apart of.