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Mike Bloomberg on Energy & Oil

Mayor of New York City (Independent)


US must set real and binding carbon reduction targets

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali, which was my privilege to address, was an historic gathering. It set the stage for a global compact that advances the progress begun some 10 years ago at Kyoto.

However, between now and the Copenhagen Conference next year, we must establish, I think, the preconditions for such progress. Both developed and developing nations must recognize the need to alter their policies and make serious commitments to change. And I believe that our experience in New York City, and the experience of many of the world’s other great cities, too, can help guide that process.

The first precondition for making the Copenhagen negotiations a success, I believe, is that the US, which leads the world in greenhouse gas production, must finally set real and binding carbon reduction targets. And I believe the American people are prepared to accept our responsibility to lead by example.

Source: Speech to the United Nations on tropical hardwoods , Feb 11, 2008

Reducing carbon output increases socio-economic well-being

NYC’s experience is illustrative, because as we’ve embarked on reducing our carbon footprint, we’ve learned that reducing your carbon production increases the social and economic well-being of your people. Let me quickly cite four examples.
  1. We’re converting our city’s taxi fleet to hybrid cars, reducing carbon by 1/2%. It will also clean our air of pollutants.
  2. We’ve proposed a program of congestion pricing, designed to discourage driving in our busy business district during the peak weekday hours. It will also make our economy more productive, and finance the new transit lines we desperately need.
  3. We’re working to green our buildings--again, not just to cut carbon emissions, but also because it will allow us to redirect billions to better purposes.
  4. We’re planting one million trees throughout our city during the next ten years. They will not only capture carbon dioxide, but also clean the air, cool our streets, reduce street flooding, and raise property values.
Source: Speech to the United Nations on tropical hardwoods , Feb 11, 2008

Cities are taking the lead on climate change

Serious carbon targets will not hamper growth, and it will leave us all better off. If the US and the developing nations make such commitments, then the prospects for a new international global warming accord improve greatly. The world cannot wait for 2009. Global warming demands immediate action. The world’s great cities recognize that. Leaders in local governments around the globe are already moving aggressively and creatively to fight climate change.

It’s why, even though our national government has yet to approve the Kyoto Protocol, more than 700 cities in the US, representing more than 80 million Americans, have pledged to meet its goals. And it’s why, later this year, NYC will convene a 2-day conference of representatives from more than 20 major world cities. It will feature experts in such fields as transportation, city planning, public health; and it will address the challenges that the world’s cities share in reducing urban air pollution and curbing climate change.

Source: Speech to the United Nations on tropical hardwoods , Feb 11, 2008

While greenhouse gas pollution is free, it will be abundant

We have to stop ignoring the laws of economics. As long as greenhouse gas pollution is free, it will be abundant. If we want to reduce it, there has to be a cost for producing it. The voluntary targets suggested by Pres. Bush would be like voluntary speed limits--doomed to fail. If we’re serious about climate change, the question is not whether we should put a value on greenhouse gas pollution, but how we should do it. [I prefer a direct charge over cap-and-trade].
Source: Keynote Address to the US Conference of Mayors , Nov 2, 2007

PlaNYC: convert 13,000 taxis to hybrids or high-efficiency

I think illegal guns and climate change are two of the best examples of cities leading where Washington has not. On both issues, those in Washington prefer talk to action. The Second Amendment [is used as] a political duck-and-cover that allows legislators to escape responsibility for fixing a serious problem.

On climate change, the duck-and-cover usually involves pointing the finger at others. It’s China-this & India-that. But wait a second. This is the United States of America. When there’s a major challenge, we don’t wait for others to act. We lead. And we lead by example. That’s what all of us here are doing.

When we developed our long-term sustainability plan in NYC, which we call PlaNYC, we made no apologies for stealing the very best ideas--and we came up with some of our own, including converting our 13,000 taxis to hybrids or high-efficiency vehicles. This will not only help clean our air and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will save each driver about $4,500 a year in gas costs

Source: Keynote Address to the US Conference of Mayors , Nov 2, 2007

Direct charge over cap-and-trade, to raise cost of carbon

If we’re serious about climate change, the question is not whether we should put a value on greenhouse gas pollution, but how we should do it. To raise the cost of carbon, we can take either an indirect approach--creating a cap-and-trade system of pollution credits--or a direct approach: charging a fee for greenhouse gas pollutants.

Cap-and-trade is an easier political sell because the costs are hidden--but they’re still there. There are also logistical issues: The market for trading carbon credits will be much more difficult to police than the market for the sulfur dioxide credits that greatly reduced acid rain.

A direct charge would eliminate the uncertainty that companies would face in a cap-and-trade system. It would be easier to implement and enforce, it would prevent special interests from opening up loopholes, & it would create an opportunity to cut taxes.

Source: Keynote Address to the US Conference of Mayors , Nov 2, 2007

Make NYC first environmentally-sustainable city

New York City's emissions are already less than 1/3 of the national average on a per capita basis. Nevertheless the city has reduced its emissions another 446,000 metric tons a year through the use of hybrid and clean fuel vehicles, more energy-efficient equipment, & planting street trees. In 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a comprehensive blueprint to make NYC "the first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city." Its most controversial provision calls for $8 a day "congestion pricing" charge for people who drive into mid-Manhattan. Similar plans have reduced congestion, and emissions, in London and Singapore. The funds raised from the fee would finance major mass transit projects. Most of NYC's remaining emissions, about 80% of the total, ar generated by buildings. NYC plans a vigorous effort to reduce the emissions by another 30% by decreasing energy use in its buildings through computer controls on heating, air-conditioning, and lighting; green roofing; and other conservation measures.
Source: Giving, by Bill Clinton, p.197 , Sep 4, 2007

Reduce NYC carbon emissions by 30% by 2030

An increasing number of people on both sides of the aisle now recognize a major problem: global warming. The science is undeniable and more than any other issue, climate change highlights the need for long-term plans that begin tackling the causes of the problem now.

In New York, we’ve laid out our own detailed plans for reducing carbon emissions by 30% by 2030, investing in more clean energy sources and creating a truly sustainable 21st century city. And we’re going to hold ourselves accountable for meeting interim goals.

Anybody can set goals for 2050 or 2070--but we’ll never reach them unless we start taking real action now. That’s what California and New York are doing, along with many other cities and states. But the federal legislators, as usual, are way behind the curve--laughably setting goals for some far off time when they’ll all be dead and can’t be held accountable!

Source: Speech at “Ceasefire! Bridging The Political Divide” meeting , Jun 18, 2007

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Other big-city mayors on Energy & Oil: Mike Bloomberg on other issues:

Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
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Page last updated: Jul 06, 2014