Mayors' Climate Change Vows Result In Little Action

Despite the signatures of hundreds of U.S. Mayors, the Climate Protection Agreement that says cities will take the lead on addressing climate change has resulted in little action, according to this article.

"The mayors joined more than 600 of their nationwide peers who have worked to convince state and federal lawmakers to get serious about combating climate change. The message from those who signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement was clear: If others won't fight global warming, we'll do it ourselves."

"But in the time since local mayors made their pledges, few have followed through with concrete action that will guarantee their city's residents will emit fewer greenhouse gases in 2012 than they did in 1990."

"But in some local cities, signing the agreement has almost become an afterthought. Vista Mayor Morris Vance said he vaguely remembered signing it. He said he asked city staff to "come back with some recommendations," though that hasn't happened."

"'I remember at the time I thought it was a good idea,' Vance said."

"In Imperial Beach, Mayor Jim Janney said his city hadn't followed up with any specific action, either. 'It's not like we've ignored it completely,' he said, 'but we haven't pushed real hard.'"

"If mankind is going to overcome the challenge that climate change presents, cities will play an important role. The federal government can require more efficient cars. The state government can mandate how much electricity will come from renewable sources. But cities have the power to set land-use policies. They decide whether energy efficient appliances will be required in new homes, whether green building standards will be employed and where development will occur."

Full Story: How Cities' Climate-Change Promise Became an Afterthought



Some vows result in big action, too

While some Californian cities might not be following through, Seattle is certainly doing it's part. In 2005, greenhouse gas emissions were 8% below 1990 levels. All it takes is some strong leadership, citizens who are willing to do their part, and public agencies who are able to innovate and be more efficient.

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