News / Africa

    Mayors Say Cities are Front Line on Fight Against Climate Change

    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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora