Sunday, June 12, 2005

Nickels pushing Kyoto treaty?

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels this weekend is at U.S. Conference of Mayors, which represents 1,183 cities, trying to get the Kyoto Treaty passed. This is like looking for lost keys under the street light instead of where they were lost. The place for the Kyoto Treaty is in the US Senate. Get it passed there, then it will have effect on the US. What can he accomplish with the mayors? PR. Lots of talk and committees. Scanning the article looking for what it would mean for the city of Omak, Washington, to adopt Kyoto all I found was:
The hope, Mote said, is that Kyoto would lead to heightened awareness and more countries agreeing to cut more emissions.
So Omak, Washington, would cause more countries to cut emmisions. And people observe that Seattle is in an ideal situation to favor cutting burning coal to cut CO2 emmissions.
Critics say it doesn't take much courage for Nickels to take a pro-Kyoto stand. For starters, Seattle can increase its population and job base in a greener way than most cities because its electricity comes from a city-owned utility that draws most of its energy from clean water power. "The only reason they can do any of this is because we dammed the rivers for hydropower. Otherwise the city would be burning a lot more stuff for power," said Eugene Wasserman, president of the North Seattle Industrial Association. Wasserman sees Nickels' climate initiative as a political stunt.
And Al Gore shows evidence for the political stunt theory. Gore Urges Mayors to Fight Global Warming Seattle already passed Kyoto targets in 2001. A Seattle press release shows narrow progress
City government has already cut its corporate emissions more than 60 percent compared to 1990 levels, but Kyoto aims for a 5 percent reduction for the entire community.
But after four years Nickels is talking about action:
“By making smart choices like building sustainable buildings, replacing old vehicles with a ‘Clean and Green’ fleet, and setting strict ‘no-net-emissions’ goals for Seattle City Light, the City has shown we can take local action on global problems,” said Nickels. In order to ensure Seattle meets these goals, the Mayor also announced the creation of a Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection. .... Emissions are only one part of the mayor’s annual Environmental Action Agenda, which was also released today. ... Other items include: A call for other local governments and businesses to join Seattle ’s strong support for the legislature to pass the “Clean Car” standards this year. An Executive Order that directs City departments to reduce their use of paper by 30 percent by the end of 2006; The inclusion of global-warming pollution reduction as a factor in awarding Neighborhood Matching Grants; The creation of a community action guide on climate protection; Explore the increased use of climate-friendly construction materials in City projects
That sounds like it will keep the meeting rooms at city hall busy without doing much damage to Seattle's business climate.


tradersmith said...

I agree that the US should reduce emissions, but not at the cost of other countries ignoring the treaty.

Geez, we can't even get Iran and North Korea to honor the nuke treaties. How can we expect them to honor these other treaties?

tradersmith said...

I see where the mayors followed Nickels advice and passed a resolution supporting the Kyoto treaty.