In spite of the 45th President of the United States' views on the matter, leaders all across the world are continuing to march forwards when it comes to action on climate change. As reported by Scientific American, this includes 90 mayors from as many cities around the world, past and present.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking to reporters at the sixth C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City this week, said that “mayors…have never waited for Washington to act here in the United States.”
Echoing a similar call to protect immigrants and minorities spearheaded by current NYC mayor Bill de Blasio, Bloomberg and his associates took pains to highlight their independence from the White House.
“[Mayors have] never waited for an international treaty to take steps to protect their citizens and improve public health,” Bloomberg, who is also the UN’s special envoy for cities and climate change, added. “And whatever happens, mayors will continue leading by example.”
Far from just being a rallying cry for mayors, the conference members also discussed a plan to cut carbon footprints across the C40’s 90 “megacities”, metropolises with a population of 3 million or more or those with a very strong economy. Those at C40 represent every 1 in 12 people on the planet.
A report entitled “Deadline 2020” notes that it will cost around $375 billion for these megacities to install a low-carbon infrastructure within the next four years. The aim here is for these cities’ greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2020 and then steeply decline.
“For wealthier, high-emitting cities that means an immediate and steep decline,” it reads. “Many fast developing cities can maintain their current levels for up to a decade, and in a small number of cases, there is some scope for emissions per person to rise slightly before they eventually fall to zero.
“But every city needs to diverge considerably from its current business as usual pathway.”
The incoming Trump presidency does not bode well for the climate or the environment, to put it lightly. It’s difficult to know exactly what will happen, but there’s a constant sense of unease – as late night TV show host Bill Maher recently put it, it’s like “watching a toddler play with a gun.”
Fortunately, the global fight against dangerous climate change will continue with or without the US government, and mayors around the world – who are increasingly being given more independence and power – are a key component in this battle.
We’d argue that the best way to push back against climate change is to vote for politicians that care about the issue. With this in mind, it’s worth keeping an eye on these 90 mayors – and perhaps giving them your vote when they need it.
[H/T: Scientific American]