World's leading smog- and climate-change-fighting cities sharing ideas |
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A select group of the world's leading municipal experts in the field of local
strategies to reduce air pollution is meeting in Toronto to share ideas this
The Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) -- a City of Toronto agency -- and the
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) are jointly
sponsoring Advanced Strategies for Municipal Action on Climate Change and Air
Pollution, an international best practices exchange, from June 17 to 20, as
part of the Toronto Smog Summit. The Canadian International Development Agency
is also supporting southern city participation in the event.
The event allows idea-sharing with municipal governments that have developed
successful strategies to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions. They
include Saarbrücken, Germany (25 per cent reduction), Växjö, Sweden (18 per
cent reduction), Berlin, Germany (18 per cent reduction) and Toronto (10 per
cent). Most of the participating cities have been working actively to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions for the past decade.
"Persistent air quality problems in many urban areas and accelerating climate
change demand a vigorous response," said Philip Jessup, Executive Director of
TAF. "Local governments are absolutely critical to achieving real progress on
these issues. The Best Practices Exchange will begin to define the agenda for
the next generation of local policies and programs to sharply reduce greenhouse
gases and air pollutants."
During the sessions, the participants will be developing an International
Declaration in support of the Kyoto Accord on Climate Change. More than 400
municipal councils around the world will be asked to formally approve the
declaration, which will be then submitted to the United Nations at an
international climate meeting in Marrakech, Morocco in the fall.
The exchange will help local governments identify and share the best practices
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their direct spheres of influence.
Among many other topics, participants will discuss:
- developing innovative financing for energy efficiency, green power and
- making technological and institutional innovations to reduce emissions
- integrating bio-energy sources with waste management procedures
- reducing the urban heat island effect
Participating cities include Berlin, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Graz, Helsinki,
Leicester, Melbourne, Mexico City, Portland (Oregon), Rio de Janeiro,
Saarbrücken, St. Paul, Sudbury, Toronto, Vancouver and Växjö. The government of
the Republic of South Africa is also taking part.