Climate action by cities could help us avoid the worst of climate change


In the tepid slugfest that is international climate negotiations, governments around the world are currently submitting their emission reduction pledges to the U.N. in the run-up to the climate summit in Paris this December. Some countries, of course, are doing a bit better than others. (New Zealand released a provisional pledge today that Oxfam cited as a “slap in the face” to the country’s at-risk Pacific Island neighbors. See? Nearly a slugfest.)

If national governments don’t get the job done, who will? The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, an all-star team of former heads of state, finance ministers, and banking executives chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, argues that city governments and the private sector have a massive role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Local governments may not be the most obvious tool for battling something as monumental as climate change, but unconventional…

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