Portland wins international award for climate change efforts
Consortium of large global cities honors Mayor Charlie Hales and city for its Climate Action Plan
C40 Cities, a consortium of big cities around the globe dedicated to fighting climate change, honored Portland and Mayor Charlie Hales on Dec. 1 for the city's joint Climate Action Plan with Multnomah County.
A jury of former mayors, climate experts and others determined the award, among 10 bestowed at a Mexico City ceremony.
"The C40 Cities Awards recognize the best and boldest work being done by mayors to fight climate change and protect people from risks," said Michael R. Bloomberg, the C40 board president, in a news release.
At a time when the U.S. government is poised to reverse efforts to stem climate change under President-elect Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress friendly to the fossil fuel industry, climate change activists say it's crucial to rely on leadership among cities, where 70 percent of carbon emissions originate.
"The winning projects show that great progress is being made on every continent, and they serve as an inspiration to other cities," Bloomberg said. "They also show how cities can help the world meet the ambitious goals set a year ago in Paris."
Hales noted that Portland was the first U.S. city to adopt a climate action plan.
"Now with our updated 2015 Climate Action Plan and proposed policy that prohibits bulk fossil fuel terminals, we'll be the first to deliberately transition from dirty, dangerous fuels to clean, renewable energy," Hales said in a statement announcing the award.
Susan Anderson, director of the city Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, said the next steps in implementing the Climate Action Plan include adopting a Home Energy Score for homes being sold, comparable efforts for commercial buildings, expanding the city's fleet of electric vehicles, and promoting community solar projects.
In conjunction with the Mexico City conference, C40 released a report called Deadline 2020: How cities will get the job done. That report is available at: c40-production-images.s3.amazonaws.com/other_uploads/images/955_C40_Report_US_Cities_Get_Job_Done.original.pdf?1480607660
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