This initiative from Seattle sounds like it may fit well with the Kyoto Cities
Seattle, other U.S. cities to hammer out their own Kyoto-like reductions
The Kyoto Protocol has arrived, and though the Bush administration
has opted out, others in the U.S. are not so climate oblivious.
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced Wednesday he's leading an effort
to get major U.S. cities to agree to Kyoto-like reductions of their
greenhouse-gas emissions, to show the feds that "the cost is minimal
or there isn't a cost at all," he said. The mayors of 10 other
cities including Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Portland, Ore.,
have already expressed interest in the effort, to be formalized in
June at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Chicago. To help Seattle
find creative ways of meeting Kyoto targets, Nickels has created a
"green ribbon" coalition chaired by Denis Hayes, environmental leader
and coordinator of the first Earth Day, and
current-but-soon-to-be-former CEO of Starbucks Orin Smith. "This is
not going to be 'turn out your lights when you leave rooms.' We'll
be looking for ways we can dramatically decarbonize the economy and
at the same time make it robust," said Hayes.
straight to the source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Kathy Mulady, 17 Feb 2005
straight to the source: Seattle Times, Bob Young, 17 Feb 2005
------ Original Message ------
Received: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 03:26:59 PM EST
From: "EcoPlan, Paris" <eric.britton@...
Subject: WorldTransport Forum Empty Chair in Kyoto
Sunday, February 20, 2005, Paris, France, Europe
May we ask your help in seeing to it that this release gets maximum
And I very much hope, as always, that you will chose to get involved. There
is plenty to keep all hands busy.
As you will note, for full background all you have to do is turn to the New
Mobility Agenda site at http://newmobility.org
It's all there.
With kindest thanks and best wishes,
Media Release. Paris, 20 February 2005 Media Release. Paris,
20 February 2005
Empty Chair in Kyoto
Open Society program sets out to help world cities become "Kyoto Compliant"
Source: The New Mobility Agenda at <http://newmobility.org%20/
Kyoto Treaty Needs Help in Cities
After years of hard work on many sides, the Kyoto Protocols finally entered
into effect on 16th February. And with it the obligation of 140 nations to
do something about their greenhouse gas emissions. For the advanced
industrial economies, the targets are going to be extremely hard to meet.
But at least there is now a process in place which is starting to point the
way. In some parts of the economy that is.
However when it comes to transport in cities, there can be no grounds for
optimism. 140 countries may have signed the Treaty, but not one city even
initialed it. Transportation was the empty chair in Kyoto.
How is that possible? It is well known that transport accounts for as much
as 50%, and often more, of all air pollution being cranked out in our
cities. However, and despite the many useful improvements made in recent
years a number of leading innovating cities and projects, all the trends are
harshly moving in the wrong direction. Each year and in every single city on
the planet we are seeing more traffic, more lost time, more pollution, more
accidents, more unnecessary deficits, and more urban amenity and quality of
life washed away by aimless short-sighted policies.
How can we move ahead on the challenges of Kyoto unless we figure out how to
fill the missing chair?
Kyoto Cities Challenge
On the day the Kyoto Protocols entered into international law, the New
Mobility Agenda, a Paris-based NGO, together with a world wide network of
distinguished colleagues and organizations, announced a voluntary program
and strategy to address this alarming oversight: the Kyoto Cities Challenge.
The groundwork for this cooperative effort had been carefully laid over the
last months with a series of internet discussions and in-person and
videoconference exchanges which in time reached out to more than a thousand
international experts and leading groups in the fields that need to be part
of the solution. The new program has been carefully shaped through these
expert exchanges and is now ready to go.
The Challenge goals are exceptionally ambitious -- as indeed they must be
under the circumstances. It not only invites each participating city to set
exceptionally tough performance targets for itself to move toward "Kyoto
Compliance", but also to do this in terms of a very tight timetable of less
than two years.
One variant receiving especially close attention is the 20/20 Challenge.
The goal is to create a high profile city-wide action program to achieve
some form of 20% reduction in a target period of 20 months. The question
comes up of course "20% of what". And this is something that needs to be
sorted out by the planning teams in each city. Thus one city might target a
20% reduction of CO2 emissions, another of some indicator of motorized
traffic, a third perhaps some pubic health metric such as pulmonary
infections. But in each case these need to be set carefully during the
intense three month blueprint stage.
The international expert group is confident that this challenge can be met,
but is well aware that this is going to require exceptionally strong local
leadership, considerable technical virtuosity and a broad base of public
support if it is to work The cooperating experts are confident that once a
first group of pioneer cities show the way, this approach will capture the
attention of many others and spread like wildfire. What is needed now is
that first set of high visibility, high impact city programs. The rest will
And in this way we will have at last filled that empty chair in Kyoto.
*** END 613 WORDS END ***
For more information on the Kyoto Cities Challenge go to
Contact: Eric Britton
The Commons: Open Society Sustainability Initiative at
Le Frene, 8/10 rue Joseph Bara 75006 Paris, France
T: +331 4326 1323
Skype: ericbritton IP video: SightSpeed: ericbritton
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