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Global warming

Global warming battle goes local as city mayors launch green initiatives

Sunday, November 18, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: global warming, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Mayors from around the world presented plans to reduce their cities' greenhouse gas emissions at an international conference of mayors in New York City earlier this year. "Unfortunately, it has fallen to the mayors to do it because at the federal level in this country and other countries, they seem to be tied up," said Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York.

At the conference, Bloomberg spoke about his 127-point plan to reduce New York's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. On the opposite side of the continent, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has promised to reduce that city's emissions by 35 percent in the same time frame. Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has committed to getting his city's residents to bring their carbon dioxide emissions back below 1990 levels within the next five years.

In addition, 16 major U.S. cities have signed up for a plan that allows them to borrow money to increase the energy efficiency of their buildings, then to pay back those loans through the resulting energy savings.

The local initiatives come in the face of a continuing unwillingness by the federal government to address the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. The United States has made its opposition clear to any international treaties that would compel it to reduce such emissions, including expansions to the Kyoto Protocol or discussions at the upcoming G-8 summit.

Due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, however, President Bush signed an executive order on May 14 directing federal agencies to develop rules by the end of the year that would "cut gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles."

For some, the end of the year is not nearly soon enough. California's attorney general, Jerry Brown, has asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow 12 states, including California, to enact their own rules sooner. The states want to require automakers to guarantee a 25 percent emissions reduction from all cars and light trucks and an 18 percent reduction from all SUVs beginning with the 2009 model year.

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