Starting today, around 80 of the world’s mayors and local leaders are meeting in Copenhagen for a five-day Climate Summit for Mayors to underscore the need for local action and to get together to compare notes. Copenhagen’s own lord mayor Ritt Bjerregaard talked up her city’s extensive bike lanes but voiced the need to get away from coal power and expand the subway system. New York City has been making efforts to reduce traffic and encourage energy efficiency in buildings, but has met resistance from real-estate interests. Sao Paulo, Brazil has reduced its emissions by 20% since 2005 by generating biogas energy from landfills instead of releasing the waste methane into the air.
An article was published today in the LA Times on the opening of the cities summit, reporting that “last week, the IEA [International Energy Agency]’s executive director, Nabuo Tanaka, said local authorities “have significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” through renewable energy and other means. “Yet relatively few are taking up the challenge,” he said.”
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the founder of the U.S. Mayors climate movement, will be chairing a round-table session on citizen engagement in climate protection, according to another article in Earth Times.
Speaking of citizen engagement in climate protection, think globally of Copenhagen, act locally by volunteering with your nearest Green City Partnership.