Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008 | Since 2005, seven mayors from across the region have made a bold pledge on global warming: Their cities will do everything possible to meet or beat the goals outlined in the Kyoto Protocol.
They agreed to strive to cut greenhouse gas emissions in their cities to 7 percent below 1990 levels — a benchmark for climate goal-setting — by 2012.
The mayors joined more than 600 of their nationwide peers who have worked to convince state and federal lawmakers to get serious about combating climate change. The message from those who signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement was clear: If others won’t fight global warming, we’ll do it ourselves.
But in the time since local mayors made their pledges, few have followed through with concrete action that will guarantee their city’s residents will emit fewer greenhouse gases in 2012 than they did in 1990.
In San Diego and Chula Vista, government has cut its own emissions generated in city facilities and by municipal car fleets. But those represent a small fraction of the citywide total.
Other cities that have signed on to the pledge have taken concrete steps to reduce emissions. New York City required its cab fleet to use hybrid cars. San Francisco has proposed implementing a city-wide tax on carbon emissions. The Los Angeles Water and Power Department agreed to exceed state mandates and get 35 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.