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Mayoral Op-Ed: Give Cities the Power to Address Climate Change

In an opinion piece, former mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York joins Anne Hidalgo of Paris and Eduardo Paes of Rio de Janeiro. They argue that national governments should give cities every possible tool to cut emissions.
May 10, 2016, 7am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Alan Stark

Arguing that strong cities serve everyone, three mayors make the case that the climate's future will be decided in cities. "Cities account for most of the world's carbon emissions, and their share will continue to increase as cities increase in size. Today more than half of the world lives in cities, and by 2050, two-thirds will." 

Worldwide economic benefits may be sizable, as well as the positive health effects of lower local pollution. "To us, the case is clear. Actions to reduce carbon emissions in urban areas are expected to be a $17tn global economic opportunity by 2050 based on energy savings alone." 

Municipal government, however, may be hamstrung by national unwillingness to delegate the required authority. "But in order for cities to take these steps, national governments must empower them. For instance, outdated national laws prevent many cities from utilizing local tax revenues or borrowing money on their own."

If national governments remove national fossil fuel subsidies and give mayors full power to regulate emissions, cities could do a lot more to address the climate crisis. 

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, May 5, 2016 in The Guardian
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