Johnson speaks at annual 'Cities Initiative' climate change conference

Wednesday marked the 20th anniversary of the annual meeting of the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence "Cities Initiative."

Leaders from over 230 member cities across the United States and Canada, including Chicago, gathered to discuss pressing environmental issues affecting the Great Lakes region.

The mayor-led coalition aims to encourage more member cities to take additional steps in combating climate change. According to the group, a recent survey revealed that only 17 percent of respondents were in the process of implementing a climate action plan, while over a quarter had not even started developing a plan.


During today's meeting, Mayor Brandon Johnson addressed his vision for Chicago's future and emphasized the importance of taking proactive measures to mitigate climate change's impact on the city and the region.

"What my plans are is to make sure that not only are we investing in communities to provide the type of environmental justice that's necessary – and I'm happy to get into specifics – but we are actually highlighting and lifting up the economic opportunities that will be available as we treat our communities that have suffered, again over the course of failed policies, as we treat these communities with the systems of care they deserve," Johnson said.

In addition to discussions, the meeting included a brainstorming strategy session for leaders and hands-on training to facilitate the creation of effective climate action plans.