- Another new climate change network for cities...
100 cities join climate rescue network
Tuesday, March 1, 2005 Posted: 11:55 AM EST (1655 GMT)
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Britain launched a campaign on Tuesday to tackle
the global climate change crisis through the sharing of information between
100 cities in 60 countries from Argentina to Vietnam.
The network includes cities of the world's biggest polluter the United States,
which has rejected the Kyoto climate change treaty, as well as China which is
not bound by the treaty and Russia which has signed up but dislikes it.
The ZeroCarbonCity campaign is based on cities being the biggest consumers of
electricity and therefore the main generators of greenhouse gases that are
warming the world towards what many see as looming Armageddon.
"Focusing activities on cities will generate fresh perspectives on the climate
issue, building awareness of the challenges and of the potential solutions,"
Neil Kinnock, chairman of the British Council, said to launch the campaign.
"ZeroCarbonCity shifts the emphasis of attention towards mitigation,
adaptation and practical measures that can be taken," he added.
It will involve an exhibition that will travel to all 100 cities highlighting
successes and failures from cutting traffic congestion and vehicle emissions
to insulating buildings, backed by online discussion forums and city
"It is multi-layered, covering all aspects of climate change from urban
planning to personal lifestyles," a British Council spokeswoman said.
The British Council is Britain's international organization for promoting
education and cultural relations worldwide.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has accepted that U.S. President George
W. Bush will never sign up to Kyoto, has promised to put climate change at the
top of the agenda for Britain's presidency of the G8 group of rich nations
His environment secretary Margaret Beckett welcomed the ZeroCarbonCity
campaign as adding fuel to that initiative.
Cities, as major concentrations of people, are a prime focus and have been
identified as heat islands with temperatures several degrees higher than the
surrounding countryside which in turn boosts energy usage from increased air
Scientists say using fossil fuels to generate electricity is the major driver
of man-made global warming.
The Kyoto climate change treaty to curb carbon emissions finally came into
force two weeks ago, but critics say it is too little too late with the United
States refusing to sign up and developing nations having only to pay lip