Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin hosted a summit on climate change that brought advocates, experts, and stakeholders from across the Midlands together to discuss changes in weather, how it affects the region, and what local leaders are doing to combat what lies ahead.
"Our climate is changing," Benjamin said. "There's no doubt about that. Whether we're talking about the effect of rising temperatures on respiratory illnesses like asthma, the growing danger of heat related morbidity and stroke, or the increased risk of flooding as water levels rise and changing weather patterns send more frequent and more powerful storms our way, the danger is real."
"We have a moral obligation to protect our children and future generations from these dangerous effects of climate change by addressing its causes and impacts and this summit is a first critical step towards meeting that challenge together."
Participants from a variety of fields including government, business, environmental preservation, healthcare, and energy, the city's first-ever "Famously Hot Climate Action Summit" followed part of President Barack Obama's Climate Change Action Plan which will set the first-ever national carbon pollution limits for the nation's existing power plants that account for 40 percent of carbon pollution in the United States.
"Our President has taken the lead and now it's our turn to act," said Mayor Benjamin. "This challenge wasn't created overnight and we can't fix it overnight either. But we have to start somewhere and we have to do it together."
Our own John Farley was part of the panel and provided his own opinions on the matter.
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