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Cities must fight global warming
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City governments need to be given more power to fight climate change since cities are responsible for a majority of greenhouse gas emissions and that is where the battle will be won or lost, a group of mayors from around the world said in Seoul yesterday.

A declaration, signed by leaders from more than 70 cities gathering in the South Korean capital for the third C40 Large Cities Climate Summit, said the burden of implementing climate change policy often falls on local government so cities should have more say in setting policies and be given more resources.

Toronto Mayor David Miller said cities bear significant responsibility for addressing climate change because they cover only about 2 percent of the Earth's surface but are responsible for some 80 percent of greenhouse gases.

"The fight against climate change and against greenhouse gas emissions will be won or lost in cities," he said. "It is essential therefore that national governments engage, empower and resource the cities of the world if they wish to fight climate change and succeed."

The mayors called on world leaders to discuss the issue at a UN conference in December aimed at drafting a new agreement on controlling greenhouse gases to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Mayors also renewed commitments to adopt eco-friendly guidelines for construction, lighting and insulation; promote the use of public transit and bicycles; and encourage recycling programs.

(Shanghai Daily via Agencies May 22, 2009)

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