Mayor Bloomberg is going global when it comes to fighting climate change. Today he took the helm of C40 Climate Leadership group. That's an association of cities working to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change. Bloomber's two year term will begin in November.
C40 helps cities accelerate and measure progress toward the goal of reducing carbon emissions 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. The group includes twenty cities from the developed world, including London, Chicago and Tokyo -- and 20 or so from the developing world, including Sao Paulo, Jakarta and Mexico City.
Bloomberg says cities are home to over half the world's population.
“While global warming clearly requires action at the national and international levels," he said, "those of us in city government have a responsibility to act boldly and quickly to address these problems.”
The Mayor said cities consume 75% of the world’s energy and produce 80% of the world’s green house gasses. And in New York, he says, PlaNYC efforts including planting trees, improving transit and increasing energy efficiency have reduced the city’s emissions by 9% since 2007 when the project was introduced in 2005.
One issue on the minds of cities everywhere is how to improve infrastructure when money is tight.
“The challenges I think today are greater because of the downturn and the economy around the world," Bloomberg said. "When people are flush they are more willing to try new things, when things get tough they try to hunker down.”
But the mayor says cities should take advantage of cheaper construction materials and the job growth green projects create, especially when the economy is down.
The C40 Climate Leadership Group was launched in 2005 and is part of the Clinton Climate Initiative. They group supports cities' efforts to confront climate change, share best practices between cities working on the problem, and make sure cities have a voice at international forums like the Copenhagen Climate Summit.
reporting by Christine Black