Thursday, January 22, 2009

Local Governments Can Affect Climate Change

Today I had the pleasure of taking part in a global videoconference discussion with the Local Government Association (LGA) of the United Kingdom geared towards discussing ideas and strategies designed at implementing environmentally friendly initiatives. The discussion allowed me to address over the members of the organization, over 400 council leaders from across Britain on a rage of environmental protection issues during their In the Eye of the Storm: Councils at the Heart of Tackling Climate Change conference.
Protecting the environment has long been a concern of mine, and I have made it part of my mission as Mayor to address the problems that afflict our community. Through the implementation of environmental initiatives, such as Mi Plan, the city’s climate action plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the creation of the Green Commission and the Office of Sustainable Initiatives, we have placed our city at the forefront of local government environmental initiatives.
In talking to Britain’s local leaders I was also able to share what the United States Conference of Mayors has done to address environmental issues such as climate change. The USCM has begun a program that has seen 910 cities, more than 6 times the number of countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol.
I was also able to relay my optimism that the new administration of President Barack Obama will see more support on the local, state and national levels for projects designed at reducing our national carbon footprint. I believe that this new administration will do more to fund research and implementation of alternative energy resources, and expand the role of mass transit in major American cities, than past administrations.
Our environment is of vital importance. We have a direct impact on it, and thus far that impact has been detrimental. We have the ability to reverse the damage that has been done, and by continuing our support for “green” initiatives and research into alternative fuel resources we can overcome this challenge just like we have so many others.

Read more about Miami’s Green Agenda HERE.
- Manny