Bloomberg, mayors offer emissions recommendations

Source: By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and eight current American mayors today unveiled a climate “playbook” aimed at getting cities to meet their commitments under the Paris climate agreement.

The playbook, announced at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, amounts to a list of policy recommendations, broadly focused on reducing emissions from buildings via energy efficiency and cutting down the number of fossil fuel-powered vehicles on the road.

It’s a project of the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge and roughly two dozen other sponsors, including the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The groups say that if the 100 largest American cities followed the playbook, they would reduce emissions 28.5% by 2025, narrowly exceeding their portion of the United States’ goals under the Paris Agreement.

“Cities are vital leaders in the global climate fight — and we’re giving them the tools to make a difference,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

Cities and states have become the epicenter of U.S. action on climate change, with a paralyzed Congress and a president who rejects the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet.

Since President Trump announced in 2017 that the country would leave Paris, mayors in more than 400 cities around the country have pledged to uphold the agreement.

Bloomberg’s philanthropic organization and its partners have dumped $70 million into the American Cities Climate Challenge, which is providing resources to 25 cities around the country to meet their climate goals.

The playbook’s recommendations on the building side include enforcing energy efficiency rules, encouraging efficiency upgrades and requiring new structures to be ready for rooftop solar. Among the first on the list is the most obvious: meeting municipal energy demand with renewable energy.

For transportation, the playbook suggests congestion pricing, such as the system that’s been in place in London for nearly two decades; incentives for electric vehicles; and electrified bus fleets.

Bloomberg was joined onstage for the announcement in Copenhagen by the mayors of Austin, Texas; Boston; Honolulu; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio; and Seattle.

“The fact is climate change is a series of solvable problems, and this playbook can help solutions spread around the world,” Bloomberg said.