The World Watch Institute's "State of the World 2007" reports that cities and local governments are often leading the way on progressive global warming policy. And with more people on the planet soon to be living in urban areas than in rural ones for the first time, local policy and local business decisions will be critical in slowing global warming.
Urban innovation examples include urban farming in Freetown, Sierra Leone, solar-powered water heaters in Rizhao, China, and improved mass transit in Bogota, Colombia.
Back in the U.S., the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) reports that of the ten large cities that have been the most successful at fighting global warming, only Portland, OR has actually slowed its global warming emissions. Even then, Portland hasn't yet met the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement it signed to reduce emissions to 7% below 1990 levels.
The 355 cities that have signed the Agreement will have to redouble their efforts to reach those goals. ILSR's report recommends state and federal policy changes to complement the cities' efforts.