Sunday, July 01, 2007

Survey Shows How U.S. Cities Tackle Global Warming

The first-ever survey to assess the role of cities in tackling global warming has been conducted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Of the 400 mayors who at the time had signed the U.S.

Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, 134 cities in 36 states responded.

The survey found that cities of all shapes and sizes are getting greener. President of the conference, Douglas Palmer of Trenton NJ, told USA Today:

"The survey shows that there are no cookie-cutter solutions. Cities, no matter what size, are coming up with innovative ways to reduce energy."

Cities are cutting emissions primarily by running cars on cleaner fuels and installing energy-efficient streetlights and traffic signals. Less than half are taking the tougher steps of requiring energy-efficient homes and businesses. Other findings include:

  • 80 percent of cities that responded are using renewable energy or are considering it for next year.
  • 75 percent are replacing vehicles with hybrids or using biofuels like ethanol.
  • 64 percent use renewable energy such as solar, wind or gases released in landfills to meet some of their energy needs.
  • 60 percent require that new city government buildings be energy efficient, and forty percent require developers to build green.

Efficiency measures pay off in more ways than just a cooler planet, of course. Albuquerque saved more than $2 million on its $36 million utilities bill, in part by capturing methane from decomposing garbage to power machines that clean water under a landfill.

As of June 21, 540 mayors have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.

No comments: