Climate Change and the World’s Cities: A Week to Remember | Citiscope
Neal Peirce, newspaper columnist, Washington Post Writers Group; chairman of the Citistates Group; lead author of Century of the City: No Time To Lose, based on the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2007 “Global Urban Summit” of city practitioners and scholars from around the world.
For the cities of the world, there’s rarely if ever been such a momentous single week.
Faced with the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change, the C40 organization of world’s large cities met in this Brazilian megacity to announce a set of landmark agreements. All the accords, said New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, current C40 chairman and the prime driver of its new initiatives, will be designed to undergird their struggle against rising seas and disruptive weather patterns — in a world in which cities as responsible, directly or indirectly, for up to 80 percent of global climate emissions.
“The leaders of C40 Cities - the world’s megacities - hold the future in their hands,” Bloomberg asserted.
As a first step, the three dozen C40 mayors confirmed a full merger with the Clinton Climate Initiative, assuring added funding for a centralized, high-grade professional staff as well as full-bore support from former President Bill Clinton, who flew to São Paulo to seal and celebrate the agreement. Staff operations are global, with current bases in London and New York.
Clinton said his Climate Initiative’s Cities Program has accomplished much in informal alliance with C40 since 2006 — for example working with Los Angeles on gas-powered buses and added bike lanes, and internationally on a total of 17 climate-positive developments in 10 cities on five continents helping “more than 1 million people live and work in communities with no greenhouse-gas emissions.” But “the truth is,” Clinton added, “it’s not enough— to save the future of the planet we also need good economics.”