Austin Mayor Steve Adler was back in Paris this week to talk all things climate with mayors from around the world. The event was a meeting of the C40 Cities, a network of the world’s largest cities committed to addressing climate change. Collectively, they represent over 90 cities (including Austin), 650 million people, and a quarter of the global economy.
The event they hosted earlier this week in Paris was called “Together4Climate” and it brought together mayors, as well as “leaders of the world’s most influential companies in an effort to make our communities cleaner, healthier and more sustainable, while simultaneously growing the green economy and promoting innovation.”
As C40 Cities mentions on its website, this kind of collaboration is imperative, because “in order to make the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement a reality, cities and businesses must collaborate.”
Discussions at the event focused around three policy areas that they believe have the greatest potential to deliver on the promises of the Paris Climate Agreement – mobility, energy, and urban planning.
One of the major announcements that came out of the event was a promise by 12 big cities (including London, Paris, and Los Angeles) to buy only zero emission buses starting in 2025. Together, these cities have a population of almost 80 million and a fleet of 59,000 buses. The idea behind the announcement is not only to reduce emissions, but also to spur a boom in the electric bus industry.
For his part, Austin Mayor Steve Adler explained in a video he recently posted to his Facebook page, he is dedicated to picking up the federal government’s slack after President Donald Trump announced that he is pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement. (Adler was in Paris when the agreement was first hashed out in 2015).
“We’re doing everything that we can,” Adler said in his video. “We’re increasing our goals, we’re shortening the time we expect to get there, we’re increasing our renewable portfolios, doing even more with electrification of fleets, expanding our resource recovery programs.”