At UN, California governor and Delhi mayor spotlight local climate change measures
California – which alone is the world’s seventh largest economy – is blazing the trail in combating climate change in the United States with its groundbreaking emission standards and in the world with the first-ever low carbon fuel standard, Governor Schwarzenegger said in his address to the largest-ever gathering of world leaders ever convened to address the issue.
At the same time, he cautioned that the efforts of his state alone cannot reverse global warming. “What we’re doing is changing the dynamic, preparing the way and encouraging the future,” he said.
“The time has come to stop looking back at the Kyoto Protocol,” he said, referring to the the 1997 binding pact which sets targets for greenhouse gas emissions which expires in 2012.
“What matters is who is answerable for the future,” he added. “And that means all of us.”
Ms. Mehra stressed that nations have much to learn from local initiatives and experiences in tackling climate change.
“Local authorities are an important beacon of hope to the global community that action can be positive and empowering,” she noted.
Delhi has taken steps towards promoting energy efficiency, sustainable transport and renewable energy, she said, adding that these measures also help to reduce air pollution, decrease electricity demand, alleviate the pressure on water supplies and boost employment.
As part of its efforts to reduce emissions, Delhi has the world’s largest bus fleet running on clean fuel, the Mayor added.
“Please do not just applaud the story that local authorities have to offer on the global stage,” she said. “Listen to how we have gone about this and benefit from this experience.”
She also urged the nearly 160 heads of State or government or other top officials from more than 150 countries present to bolster their investment in local initiatives for reduced emissions and improved local management of the environment.