The power of town hall

The Alliance of World Mayors and Municipal Leaders released a declaration in 2005 at the UN Climate Change Conference in Montreal, announcing long-term goals that are among the most ambitious in the world: They want to cut their cities' greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. Their short-term target is a 20-percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2010.

Building on that declaration, concerned mayors and municipalities created the Cities for Climate Protection program. This program works with over 800 cities that account for approximately 15 percent of global human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. The project is lead by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI, also known as Local

Governments for Sustainability). The initiative involves a five-step commitment:

I Keeping track of and predicting greenhouse gas emission levels

I Setting a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target l Making a plan for how to reduce those greenhouse gas emissions l Taking action on the plan and actually reducing the greenhouse gas emissions l Keeping track of reductions and reporting on progress

You can get a taste for what some of these

800 cities are doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by checking out Table 10-1.

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