Fighting global warming remains challenging for cities
Of the 10 large cities that have been most successful at fighting global warming, only Portland, Ore., has tamed its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a report from the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). And, even in that case, the city has not yet achieved the goal set out in the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement to reduce GHG emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels.
The conclusion of ILSR’s report, “Lessons from the Pioneers: Tackling Global Warming at the Local Level,” is that the 355 cities in 49 states that signed the Climate Protection Agreement will have to redouble their efforts to achieve their goals. “The sheer number of these ‘Kyoto cities’ promises an interesting mix of strategies and a steep learning curve as communities discover from one another what works and what doesn’t,” says the report’s author John Bailey.
Changes on a state and federal level are needed to complement the cities’ efforts, according to the report. The report also found that the use of fossil fuels instead of hydroelectricity to generate power made up the biggest difference in GHG levels between cities. The report is available at www.newrules.org.