Paris mayor urges big cities to act on climate change

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"Time is of the essence" this is the message Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe told big cities in trying to convince them to change urbane dwellers lifestyles.

Copenhagen - Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe on Tuesday urged big cities to act immediately to change urban dwellers' lifestyles to help stop global warming, saying "time is of the essence."

"In the world's large cities, it's time to change the way we travel, consume and generate our energy," Delanoe told representatives of local governments at a meeting on climate change in Copenhagen.

"Time's up on the planet's ecological clock," he said, opening the three-day meeting gathering 700 mayors, local officials, and other delegates from 70 countries and aimed at finding a common position ahead of a UN climate summit in the Danish capital in December.

Delanoe hailed several cities' efforts already under way, noting that in host city Copenhagen a third of inhabitants get around on bikes and another third use public transport exclusively.

He also praised San Francisco for its bio-fuel programme that uses recycled cooking oil, and Melbourne's rapidly developing green rail network.

If future generations are to "inherit a more desirable world and halt the downward spiral of global warming, we must make the sacrifices, change our habits and volunteer extremely ambitious objectives today," he said.

He stressed the need for governments to push for research, eco-technology and innovation.

Delanoe told AFP that since the agreement on the Kyoto Protocol which cuts carbon emissions and expires in 2012, "we have been too general (in our efforts), there haven't been enough restrictions or efficiency."

The United Nations hopes to get a new global warming treaty approved in Copenhagen in December to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

That treaty should be "restrictive when it comes to ceilings, timeframes and means," Delanoe said, stressing that there must be financial solutions that enable all countries to afford climate change efforts.

AFP / Expatica

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