Lionel Preau—Riva Press/Redux

Five years ago, leaders from nearly every country on earth gathered in the City of Light to sign the historic Paris Agreement, setting a road map for the world to reduce greenhouse emissions that are warming our planet. The host of that epic event was the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who has further burnished her city’s legacy as a leader in the movement to solve the climate crisis since then. Even in the midst of confronting the global pandemic, Mayor Hidalgo has turned Paris into a shining example of how cities can lead the transition to cleaner, healthier and more prosperous societies. She is transforming the city’s landscape to make it friendlier to pedestrians and bikers, cutting car traffic and making the air safer to breathe.

In our increasingly urban world, there is so much opportunity for cities—which are already responsible for 70% of global greenhouse-gas emissions—to lead the global fight. Mayor Hidalgo is a visionary leader—the kind of leader who demonstrates how local action can solve the climate crisis.

Gore is a former Vice President of the U.S., and founder and chairman of the Climate Reality Project

More Must-Reads from TIME