New York (June 10, 2007)- U.S. cities including New York, Boston, and Portland (OR) are setting carbon emission targets and developing concrete strategies to deal with climate change. It is a consequence, municipal officials and analysts say, of the growing perception among mayors that the Bush administration has largely ignored an issue that has reached a tipping point in American culture.
“Because of what many see as a policy failure on this issue in Washington, you see state and city governments stepping up and taking the lead on global warming,” said Daniel C. Esty, director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy. “You’ve got people in Europe saying that America is doing nothing on global warming, but that’s not true. You are seeing real action. But it’s happening in a local way.”
The overall impact of cities’ actions is still undetermined, but officials say such measures -along with mild weather and other factors – significantly contributed to the 1.3 percent drop in U.S. fossil-fuel related emissions to 5.88 billion metric tons last year.
“I get to be the mayor of the capital city of the most polluting state in the most polluting country in the world,” said Austin Mayor Will Wynn. Characterizing Bush’s new proposal, Wynn said, “He suggests we talk about it for two more years and save action for his successor. Well, mayors are acting now.”
St. Petersburg Times