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For Immediate Release, July 31, 2012

Contact: Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809,

Detroit Backs Clean Air Act, Joins Urgent Call for Climate Change Action

Motor City Could Face Hundreds of Heat-related Deaths Every Year

DETROIT— As the United States sweats through one of the hottest summers on record, Detroit joined more than 30 other U.S. cities today in supporting the use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to fight the risk of catastrophic climate change.

By passing a resolution today, Detroit became the 33rd city to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign, which urges President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to take action on global warming. Record-setting summer temperatures in Michigan have Detroit’s leaders concerned about the growing threat of heat-related deaths.

“Detroit will be hit hard by climate change, so we’re eager to see the Clean Air Act used to reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr., the councilmember who introduced the Clean Air Cities resolution. “Heat waves are getting worse here, and these hot temperatures threaten the lives of our infants and senior citizens. We need urgent action to protect vulnerable populations across the country from climate-change risks.”

“Detroit’s leaders understand the threat of the global climate crisis and support one key solution: the Clean Air Act,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Cities around the country, from Los Angeles to Miami — and now Detroit — are sending an urgent message to our national leaders. To avert a climate catastrophe, we have to act now.”

Detroit could suffer hundreds of additional heat-related deaths every year by the end of this century if greenhouse gas levels continue to rise, according to a recent study in Weather, Climate and Society, the journal of the American Meteorological Society. The National Weather Service reports that heat is already the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.

The first six months of 2012 were the hottest such period on record in the United States. A recent study by researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows climate change is making severe heat waves far more likely.

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The resolutions call on President Obama and the EPA to take swift action under the Clean Air Act to address climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in Albany, N.Y.; Berkeley, Santa Monica, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Cambridge and Northampton, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa and Gulfport, Fl.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; and Boulder, Colo; and Burlington, Va. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and get the facts about the Clean Air Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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