Friday, May 04, 2007

Bangkok and New York

The clarion call for sustainable development, alternative energy, and cleaner-burning power plants was issued in Bangkok today by the International Panel on Climate Change. But for the real action on a huge part of any agenda for reducing emissions, New York is the place to be. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who proposed the sustainable growth plan called PlaNYC on Earth Day last month, addressed the general assembly of the Regional Plan Association, which focused on steps that big cities can take to cut emissions and reduce energy use. Later this month, leaders from over 30 of the world's largest cities will gather in New York for the second C40 Large Cities Climate Summit 2007, where the model New York and London climate action plans will set the standard for what big cities can do. It's slowly sinking in that a key climate policy centers on how we grow, develop and arrange ourselves physically on the land, and that cities have the most to offer for being green, super energy-efficient places. They're the places that can maximize transit use and eradicate energy waste, through building retrofits and green building standards. Bio-fuels and better technology for coal plants is all great, but cities remain an obvious solution to avert a baked planet. The planning, environmental and smart growth agenda have become the climate agenda.


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