Mayors to cut greenhouse gases
Wed, 20 Jun 2012 2:36p.m.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that the world's biggest cities have launched a plan to significantly cut CO2 emissions because mayors do not have the "luxury" to not act.
His criticism was aimed at the world leaders who will meet in Rio de Janeiro for a three-day summit on sustainable development.
Although more than 50,000 visitors are expected at Rio+20 by the end the event, few concrete results are expected from the summit.
Bloomberg, his Rio counterpart Eduardo Paes and ten other mayors of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group took part in a meeting to announce their goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a billion tonnes until 2030.
Officials at Rio+20 are expected to make little progress in their bid to pave way for greener and more equitable growth.
Bloomberg told reporters and guests at a parallel event dubbed "Humanity 2012" that mayors had taken matters into their own hands.
"Even as progress at national and international level has faltered, it's fair to say that world cities have forged ahead. And the reason for that is clear - mayors, the great pragmatists on the world stage who are directly responsible for the wellbeing for the majority of the world's people, just don't have the luxury to simply talk about change and not deliver it," he said.
The C40 mayors, whose cities account for approximately 14 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions, said they would ask for support from their presidents to carry out the actions to fight climate change.
Rio's Eduardo Paes said mayors could not afford to wait for global decisions in order to act.
"It is not correct that we, with all the instruments we have in our hands, wait for the traditional process of decision-making by world leaders because it is a complex process," he said.
After the conference, Paes took Bloomberg for a quick tour at the Babilonia slum in Copacabana where work is being done to improve the community.
Babilonia and its neighbouring Chapeu Mangueira slum was one of the city's favelas to be pacified last year.
The slum's community leader, Persilia Pereira, said it was the first time the slum was receiving public investments.
"For us, a small community who never received the attention of any politician - with the exception of this one now (Paes) - this is a wonderful initiative. I thank God and thank them (officials) for having looked out for our community," she said.
The slum's refurbishment plan includes eco-friendly initiatives such as voluntary garbage collectors and a proper sewage system.
3 News / Reuters
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