U.S. Mayors Support Global Warming Treaty
SEATTLE Despite the Bush administration's resistance to the Kyoto global warming pact, more than 130 U.S. mayors have applied the agreement's standards in a bid to reduce America's carbon dioxide emissions, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels said Monday.
Concerned by several warm winter days in his own city, Nickels said he appealed to mayors across the country in February when the global treaty was enacted without the participation of the United States -- the largest emitter of heat-trapping gases.
Since then, Nickels said, 136 mayors representing more than 30 million people have signed an agreement to meet the goals spelled out in the treaty and are urging the federal government to do the same.
"We've seen what the potential effect might have been in Florida, with the hurricanes, and in California, with the record rainfall that usually belongs to us," Nickels, a Democrat, said. "Those are warning signs. They may or may not be related to global climate change, but they are a sign of what might happen."
Participating mayors include Michael Bloomberg of New York and James Hahn of Los Angeles, Nickels said.
The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in the Japanese city in 1997, imposes requirements on 35 industrialized nations to cut emissions of "greenhouse gases" blamed for rising world temperatures to an average of 5 percent below 1990 levels. The treaty has been ratified by at least 140 nations, but the United States has said the restrictions are flawed and could hurt its economy.
The mayors involved pledge to meet or beat Kyoto targets such as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 7 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. Recommended actions range from anti-sprawl land-use policies to public information campaigns.
Seattle aims to meet its 7 percent commitment in part by encouraging cruise lines to turn off their diesel engines when they dock at its port and hook up to the city's electrical power grid.
Source: Associated Press