News / Africa

Mayors Say Cities are Front Line on Fight Against Climate Change

Cities Lead Fight Against Climate Change

x
Cities Lead Fight Against Climate Changei
X
February 06, 2014 7:28 PM
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities. This week, mayors from the world’s major cities will meet in Johannesburg to discuss the impact of climate change -- and what they can do to fight it. VOA’s Anita Powell is attending the conference in Johannesburg and brings us this report.

Cities Lead Fight Against Climate Change

Anita Powell
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities.  This week, mayors from the world’s major cities met in Johannesburg to discuss the impact of climate change - and what they can do to fight it. 

In recent years, bad weather has hit cities harder than ever - from hurricanes in Hong Kong and snowstorms in New York to heat waves in Rio de Janeiro.

More than 3.5 billion people around the world live in cities.  Cities consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy - and put out more than than 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Mayors from more than 40 major cities gathered this week in Johannesburg to discuss taking the fight against climate change all the way to their respective city halls.

The event’s host, Johannesburg executive mayor Mpho Parks Tau, says cities understand the effect they have on the world's climate.

“Cities are really where the rubber hits the road, figuratively and literally," said Park. "We are responsible for public transport planning, public transport provision.  We are also responsible for the management of the electricity distribution network, water, sanitation, the management of the built environment, therefore building control and building standards, in the city of Johannesburg.  And we’re convinced that those are the areas that in fact impact on climate change.”

Across the world, Houston mayor Annise Parker says her city, known as a headquarters for oil companies, is making great strides.

“In the last seven years, the city of Houston has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent.  Today, I made a commitment of the next two years, 5 percent each year, we would reduce it another 10 percent,” said Parker.

The mayor widely credited with leading the charge is New York’s former leader, Michael Bloomberg.

“Our efforts to clean the air in New York City has raised life expectancy.  Life expectancy in New York City is now three years greater than the average across America.  And it has improved three years in just the last 12 years.  So you really can make a difference,” he said.

The mayors say they are convinced their efforts will help the fight against climate change - and  keep residents of their cities a little more comfortable in the long run.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid