Cities Lead Sustainability Efforts

Let me comment on “Bloomberg Takes City Sustainability Program Global” that appeared in Transportation Nation.

Congress is unlikely to pass legislation addressing climate change any time soon.  There is little political will to do so and there hasn’t been since the 1970s, when Congress passed comprehensive environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, etc.

By contrast, as described in this article, many city mayors are undertaking actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  For example, they are encouraging more energy-efficient buildings, turning to “green” infrastructure to minimize storm runoff, etc. Ultimately, such initiatives saves the city and its citizens money and improves the quality of life.

I believe that any real action to address climate change is going to come from cities. For many people, global climate change is too vague. But people know all too well when extreme weather (which will occur more often due to climate change) causes floods that shut down their subways or causes heat-waves that trigger black-outs in their neighborhood. Furthermore, people and the local media can hold their city mayors and other politicians accountable. It would be politically foolish for local leaders not to listen to their constituents’ call for action.

As they say, “all politics is local”.

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