City leaders unite to find ground-level climate change strategies

Former New York City Mayor Bloomberg taking the climate mantle.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  June 22, 2016 at 6:34 AM
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BRUSSELS, June 22 (UPI) -- A bottom-up strategy steered by local leadership can help tackle the challenges from climate change on the ground where it counts, officials said from Brussels.

"Today, the world's cities are uniting their efforts to fight climate change behind a single global organization, something that has never before happened," former New York City Mayor and U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Change Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

On becoming a U.N. envoy after leaving office after 12 years as mayor of New York City, Bloomberg helped form the so-called C40 group, a community of more than 60 cities working in tandem to support the development of local-level initiatives like bike-sharing schemes to climate-friendly city infrastructure.

By the C40's estimates, urban cities like New York City combine to account for about 75 percent of all of the energy used in the world and 70 percent of total emissions.

Combing the global compact and global covenant of mayors, the leaders in Brussels said they've now created the largest single coalition of local leaders committed to climate leadership. Together, the cities in the compact represent about 8 percent of the world's population.

"Never before have so many cities joined forces, eager to inspire each other and committed to collectively taking the path to a low-carbon, resilient society," European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said in a statement.

Commitments are already in place from cities worldwide to invest more than $120 billion on climate initiatives.

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