Center for American Progress

RELEASE: As Federal Climate Resources Are Slashed Under Trump, Cities Should Look to Atlanta for Guidance
Press Release

RELEASE: As Federal Climate Resources Are Slashed Under Trump, Cities Should Look to Atlanta for Guidance

Washington, D.C. — The anti-environmental actions taken by the Trump administration thus far will have far-reaching effects on the United States’ ability to combat climate change. However, those actions also sent a crystal clear message to city leaders looking to improve their water, air, and climate resilience: They are most definitely on their own.

The Center for American Progress has released an issue brief that examines the city of Atlanta’s current and developing policies and plans designed to fight the sources and impacts of climate change, all without federal support. Atlanta could serve as a model for other cities looking to make their communities more equitable and resilient in an era of dwindling federal support.

“Trump’s administration is dismantling environmental protection programs and eliminating grants that communities rely on to improve health and water quality and make themselves resilient to the effects of climate change,” said Danielle Baussan, CAP’s Managing Director of Energy and Environment Policy. “Decades of unequal public planning have left low-income communities especially vulnerable to the extreme weather and pollution-related health risks that come with and cause a changing climate. Atlanta, through the leadership of Mayor Kasim Reed (D), has adopted a strategy that will maintain the city’s steady economic growth while modernizing its transportation and energy efficiency programs, making them more effective and equitable.”

Mayor Reed and city leaders are taking a comprehensive approach to climate change and boosting resilience that includes:

  • Reducing the energy and transportation emissions that contribute to rising temperatures and extreme weather
  • Implementing a Climate Action Plan with specific strategies to improve air quality and mitigate the causes of climate change
  • Improving access to and expansion of public transit
  • Promoting low- and zero-emission vehicles, particularly in the public sector
  • Increasing parks and vegetation to offset the urban heat island effect
  • Working with community groups to develop site-specific water retention plans that help protect residents’ homes and city infrastructure
  • Incorporating economic equity in their plans to help all residents experience climate resilience and access to prosperity
  • Improving housing affordability through inclusionary zoning practices and improved public transit to schools and employment

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at or 202.481.7141.