If you want to see what’s really being done to curb climate change, go to the cities. Today’s highlight was watching a dynamic panel of city leaders at the U.S. pavilion, moderated by George Hartwell, Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Three very different cities, each with a unique message. Here’s a (brief) breakdown:
Maija Lukin – Councilwoman in Kotzebue, Alaska
Libby Schaaf – Mayor of Oakland, California
Jorgen Abilgaard – Executive Climate Project Director in Copenhagen, Denmark
So now you’re wondering: but I don’t live in one of those cities. Short of packing up and moving there, what can I do? The good news is that at the city level, it’s easy and necessary for you to get involved! Cities serve as the testing ground for different practices and adaptation strategies. Action in our local communities proves to world leaders that it can be done, paid for, and things can change for the better.
50% of the world’s population lives in cities, and that number is predicted to reach 67% in the near future. Even in a worst-case scenario, where countries fail to pass a binding treaty to curb emissions at COP21, cities around the world can and will take on the fight against climate change.