Monday, December 14, 2009

Cities on the frontline of climate change

ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Iniatives) President David Cadman was speaking today at the launch of a carbon accounting centre for cities. The Vancouver city councillor took the opportunity to criticize national negotiators, "I don't think that the national leaders here negotiating in Copenhagen know how much the cities and sub-national governments have already achieved with emission reduction strategies and policies. Therefore they are underestimating what nations can do and what they can commit to."

He went on to say that cities represent 50% of the population now and will be 75% by 2030. Cities can and will continue to lead in making cuts to ghg's. He challenges the national governments and corporations to get on board with action to make the cuts that are necessary to survival and to meet targets that cities have already proved is very doable.

ICLEI launched a carbon accounting tool for cities that will apply standardized benchmarking and hold a central database so that the incredible work being done by cities is tracked, validated across a global standard, and held up to global leaders to show them what is achievable.

It's called CARBONN and will be administered out of Bonn, Germany ... hence the wordplay. It has the potential to unify municipalities by giving them the carbon accounting standards they need to compare criteria across jurisdictions. I just wonder if they understand the pressures our local governments face for devoting resources to a new accounting process. It could be a breakthrough, but here's hoping it's designed to make life easier for our municipalities. I'll be sure to investigate and get back to you.

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