Cities, states and provinces from the world’s biggest superpowers pledged to help reduced their carbon emissions at a summit in California on Sept. 15, with Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard giving a speech and playing a role in the negotiations.
“It is important for all cities, regardless of their size, to do their part to help the environment,” Brainard said in his remarks.
Different localities made different pledges. Carmel committed to build 30 new roundabouts, which decrease car emissions and energy for traffic lights. The City of Carmel will also reduce its overall emissions by 40 percent by 2040.
Other cities pledged to reduce greenhouse gases or overall emissions. Participants include Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Portland, Houston, Salt Lake City, New York, Oakland, Des Moines, Miami Dade County, Phoenix and San Francisco.
Also included are 11 Chinese cities, and Brainard was able to meet with Chinese officials to help them with their pledges. Overall, these cities agreed to the “Alliance of Peaking Pioneer Cities,” which states that all peak their emissions by 2030, in line with national targets. Some areas are pledging even 10 years earlier.
In August, high school students from Carmel’s Chinese Sister City of Xiangyang in Hubei Province rode the city’s Zagster rental bicycles when they visited Carmel.
“It was part of their activities as their visit focused on environmental issues, solutions and best practices in our city,” Brainard said.
Brainard touted some advances that Carmel has made, including promoting walkability, but he also had words of praise for China’s policies as well, which includes reducing coal production and creating more energy with less carbon. In 2009, China promised to reduce its 2005 carbon intensity level by 45 percent in 2020. It is already down 34 percent.
“Nature also provides us with some alternative forms of power and Carmel will promote the use of solar and wind power in our city and throughout our state,” he said. “All of these things should help Carmel reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions 40 percent by 2040. I want to again commend China for the changes they are making, which will have a positive impact on the environment.”