Cities Leading the Charge on Climate Change Action

Today on CNN.com and CNN International, C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is featured in both an op-ed and broadcast interview discussing how cities, on the frontlines of the fight against climate change, are leading the charge in addressing this critical issue.

Says Mayor Bloomberg:

“Around the world, city leaders are not wasting time debating the science of climate change or waiting around for international treaties to be signed; we are taking action. There’s simply too much to do and too much at stake.”

During the interview, Mayor Bloomberg further emphasizes the unique ability cities have to take action against climate change even as national governments remain largely ineffective in working together on this issue. He also explains the specific role that C40 is playing in helping an increasing number of cities take action:

“What we can do is come in and provide expertise to accomplish what [the mayor has] told us [he or she] wants to accomplish. We can network you with other cities who’ve done similar kinds of things, and you kind find out the pitfalls and get some advice. It’s also very useful when you’re trying to sell something to your constituents to say ‘well, they do it successfully elsewhere.’”

Mayor Bloomberg highlights the actions New York City has undertaken to mitigate climate risks, guided by its sustainability blueprint PlaNYC. But New York, he argues, is by no means the only city taking on this global challenge with a “frontal attack” – C40 Cities have collectively taken more than 4,700 actions to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and prepare for a world shaped by the impact of climate change. Citing the “power of the C40 network,” Mayor Bloomberg describes how cities are sharing best practices and resources – and collaborating with each other and C40 partner institutions to drive further action. As a result, C40 Cities have the potential to cut GHG emissions by more than one billion tons a year by 2030.

The best hope for the future in battling the impacts of climate change? Cities. Here’s why:

“Mayors are pragmatists, not partisans; innovators, not ideologues. We are responsible for delivering results, not debating politics. And as the world becomes increasingly more urban, the importance of bold local action – particularly on climate change – will continue to grow.”

To read Mayor Bloomberg’s article, click here.

To watch the interview, click here.

Editor’s note: Tune into to watch profiles of five C40 cities on CNN International’s mini-series The City, starting Monday, August 19 on “News Stream” at 13:00 GMT and “Connect The World” at 21:30 GMT. All pieces will then be available for viewing on CNN Online here.

Changing Planet

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The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. Recognizing that cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, our organization’s global field staff works with city governments, supported by our technical experts across a range of program areas to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in large cities across the world. The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, and 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg is President of the Board. The Steering Committee includes: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Tokyo.