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November 30, 2016

Kenney signs open letter urging Trump to 'find common ground' in fighting climate change

Mayor Jim Kenney is one of 39 mayors across the United States who have signed an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump asking him to reconsider his views on climate change.

Along with mayors of cities like New York, Portland, Seattle, Chicago and many others, Kenney asked Trump to address "an issue not rooted in politics or philosophy, but in science and hard economic data."

An excerpt of the letter, published Nov. 22, reads:

The cost of prevention pales in comparison to the cost of inaction, in terms of dollars, property and human life. As our incoming President, as a businessman, and as a parent, we believe we can find common ground when it comes to addressing an issue not rooted in politics or philosophy, but in science and hard economic data. Simply put, we can all agree that fires, flooding and financial losses are bad for our country, that we need to protect our communities' most vulnerable residents who suffer the most from the impacts of climate change, and that we all need healthier air to breathe and a stronger economy--rural and urban, Republican and Democrat--and in terms of our domestic quality of life and our standing abroad.

Trump has had controversial views on climate change in the past, once tweeting that "global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

In a post-election interview with The New York Times, however, Trump said that he has an "open mind" toward confronting climate change and said that "there are few things where there's more division than climate change."

The letter notes that Americans gave the OK for more than $200 billion in local tax dollars to go toward efforts to improve quality of life and cut down on carbon emissions.

The mayors write that Trump's support of changing climate change is vital because federal funds are necessary to help expand renewable-energy initiatives and other measures that hope to fight the issue.

“Philadelphia continues to lead the way on reducing our carbon emissions and making our city more resilient to a warmer and wetter climate,” Christine Knapp, Philadelphia’s director of sustainability, said in a statement released Tuesday. “But our efforts can only be scaled up as needed with support from the federal government. We are hopeful that the incoming administration will recognize the devastating impact that climate change will have on our economy, our communities and our citizens, and will support our efforts."

In July 2015, Philadelphia was also ranked as the No. 10 city most affected by climate change in a list put together by