Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)
SUBJECT: Mayors' Climate Agreement Reaches Major Milestone
2/14/2007 11:00:00 AM
John Healy, (206) 684-3693
Mayors' Climate Agreement Reaches Major Milestone
Spokane, Pittsburgh push global warming pact
over 400 mark two years after Kyoto
SEATTLE - Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels today announced that more than 400 cities across the country have now joined the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement, pledging to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emission in their communities.
The milestone was reached just days before the second anniversary of the Kyoto
Protocol taking effect in 141 countries, but not the United States. Nickels
launched the grassroots effort on that day two years ago in hopes of spurring
national action on climate protection.
Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession, the first eastern Washington mayor to sign, brought the total to 399. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was the 400th signer. Beverly Hills, Calif., Mayor Stephen P. Webb, and Lansing, Mich., Mayor Virg Bernero bring the total to 402 from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These mayors represent 58.8 million Americans, about 20 percent of the U.S. population.
“The demand for action on climate protection is growing every day, in big cities and small towns, in the heartland and on the coasts - and now on both sides of the Cascades,” Nickels said. “What started in Seattle as a protest against federal policies of delay and denial has become a coalition of communities across America that are making a difference in the future of our planet.”
“I’m pleased that this milestone gives me the chance to thank Mayor Nickels for his leadership on this important issue,” Ravenstahl said. “I am proud to join my fellow mayors making Pittsburgh the 400th city committed to reducing our contribution to global warming.”
“Climate change doesn’t care what side of the mountains you live on,” said Spokane Mayor Hession. “If we do nothing, the impacts will cause great harm. I’m proud to join more than 400 other mayors who are serious about acting locally and creating a common voice that will result in meaningful federal climate policy. The result will be healthier communities and better economic opportunities for all Washington people.”
Nickels celebrated the milestone as the Washington Legislature considered Senate Bill 6001, which sets tough standards for electric-utility emissions, sets statewide emission reduction targets and sets in motion creation of a comprehensive climate protection plan for the state.
“Our effort has helped push debates like the one in Olympia today,” Nickels said. “It’s important that we continue our efforts to support bold policy at the state and federal levels.”
Nickels also noted the efforts across the nation spurred by the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment is signing up campuses coast to coast to commit to long-term climate neutrality and near-term emission reduction goals. The Sierra Club “Cool Cities Campaign” spun up in support of the mayors’ agreement. And the Campus Climate Challenge is pushing climate solutions on hundreds of high school and college campuses.
Nickels also announced that he will work to pass a resolution of the U.S. Conference of Mayors embracing a national goal of an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a national emissions trading system.
He also pledged to keep the momentum of the U.S. Mayors Agreement going by committing to 500 signers by June.
For more information on the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, go to: www.seattle.gov/mayor/climate
Visit the mayor’s web site at www.seattle.gov/mayor. Get the mayor’s
inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic
opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter
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