Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cities Showing Leadership at a COP ... AGAIN

At Copenhagen the association of world cities showed up their national counterparts by emphasizing the action they were taking to combat climate change in their own cities against the backdrop of all the talking and lack of action by nations. Here in Cancun, they are singing the same song again. (In fact, they did say their theme song was Elvis Presley’s, “A little less conversation, a little more action”, but that would be tacky to mention it.)

On Friday night they announced The Mexico Pact, signed just 2 weeks ago in Mexico City. This is a pact signed by 138 mayors of the major cities of the world, including Tokyo, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles and Paris, to name a few. The pact binds them to limits on carbon emissions and commitment to register and validate emissions in a central registry, according to a strict protocol.

With the benchmarks in place, the innovative strategies cities will take to meet them is inspiring. The Copenhagen mayor spoke of making a carbon neutral city. And the mayor of Tokyo has implemented the world’s first municipal cap and trade system. Yes, they can.

The presenters were a representative group of the world’s city leadership, from France to Japan to Australia. They made the point that populations are moving to cities. By the end of this century, 90% of people will live in cities. They feel that their jurisdictional reach and their commitment to reduce emissions will drag the national leaders in their wake. And isn’t that what leadership is all about.

Read all about the initiative here:

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