26. Mayor Kenney goes to Copenhagen

This show air will at noon on Friday October 18, 2019 on PhillyCAM’s radio station WPPM 106.5 LP FM in Philadelphia. Hear the audio anytime. The script is below. Produced by Meenal Raval.

Hello

Hello and welcome to Philly Talks Climate — where we talk about the climate crisis, how it affects Philadelphia, and how we solve this for our region. I’m Meenal Raval, and I’ll be your host. 

Last Week

Last week, we explained about managed electric vehicle charging. We also talked about the the funds from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, and using these wisely to reduce our emissions from the transportation sector. 

News You Can Use 

The news you can use this week is about…

Mayor Kenney goes to Copenhagen

Philadelphia’s Mayor Kenney recently made a trip to Copenhagen to take part in the C40 World Mayors Summit, a network of over 90 cities worldwide representing over 700 million global citizens,  committing to cut fossil-fuel emissions. Since 75% of global energy demand and 80% of greenhouse gas emissions come from cities, solving the climate crisis means reducing our emissions at the local level, without waiting for Washington to lead. Several people from his administration accompanied our Mayor. 

Returns with Climate Collaborative 

Upon returning from the C40 Summit, the mayor announced the Climate Collaborative of Greater Philadelphia, a regional partnership designed to help leaders, businesses, and large organizations step up on climate action. The Mayor’s Climate Collaborative has looped in big and small local orgs such as… 

  • the African American Museum, and Longwood Gardens
  • non-profits such as the Audubon Society of PA and the American Cancer Society
  • bars & coffee shops like Earth Bread & BreweryYards Brewing Company and Saxby’s Coffee
  • educational institutions such as the Community College of Philadelphia, Haverford College, Rowan University and Temple University
  • markets like Mom’s Organic Market and the Reading Terminal Market
  • the Philadelphia AFL-CIO
  • and regional agencies like the Port of Philadelphia and SEPTA

These organizations are leading by example. Partly because they have the money. And also because they’ll save money while reducing emissions! It’s cheaper, smarter, and it’s how we’ll do things in the future.

We hope each of these organizations will prioritize energy efficiency for buildings & transportation, consider on-site solar, transportation electrification and EV adoption, imagine car-free streets, especially on campuses. It only makes sense. 

Nic’s experience

Nic Esposito, Director of Zero Waste & Litter in Philadelphia, returned from his Copenhagen trip with the Mayor and wrote a series of posts for GRID magazineNic noticed that…

their bike infrastructure is incredible and is something every city should strive for. I’ve never felt calmer or safer than being in a curb protected bike lane with many fellow riders all following the same well thought out rules of the road.”  

Another observation was 

“the collaborative nature of businesses to find market based solutions to our climate issues. Businesses here seem to approach their partnerships collaboratively, with an ethic of “here’s what we do and how can we help.” 

From the Left Coast, Nic reported that 

Portland mandated that all annual municipal budget requests must show how that money will be invested in carbon reduction.”

And that 

“Portland did a consumption-focused carbon assessment on the city and found that goods produced outside of the city had double the carbon footprint than goods produced in the city.” A good reason to think about regional self-reliance and build our local economy, as my friend Judy Wicks has touted countless times. 

My take

The initial 42 partners of the Greater Philadelphia Climate Collaborative met this week. Of note is that there was no representation from any grassroots groups. 

We ARE in a climate emergency and we need representatives willing to rethink how we do things, to look at long term solutions, not just those viable to implement within an election cycle. 

Since no one is organizing the public , it’s incumbent that we organize ourselves. It’s our energy future, and we need to participate. Many of us are planning a series of fall meetings to develop our near-term climate policies. Stay tuned! 

Engage with your Elected

Do you represent an organization concerned about the climate crisis? And unsure of what your group can do about this? You can contact us at Philly Talks Climate, or join the Climate Collaborative. Our email is phltalksclimate@gmail.com. 

Connect with Concerned Others 

This weekend, there are 2 events where you can connect with others concerned about the climate crisis. 

On Saturday, join Ben & Jerry’s and Sierra Club for a day of ice cream and activism. Share why you are #ReadyFor100% clean energy and you’ll get a FREE kids size scoop of ice cream.

And on Sunday, join Bartram’s Garden and ecoWURD for an Environmental Justice Summit, at Bartram’s Garden.

You’ll find details on our Connect page at Philly Talks Climate.

References

Closing Quote 

For all the youth rising up for climate action, I’m reminded of a quote from Henry James, found in the July/August issue of the British magazine Resurgence:

To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life’s underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They will endure. 

Closing Music 

Our closing music this week is Copenhagen, by the RockDoctors, from another climate summit in Copenhagen, 10 years go. Sample lyrics… 

Do something.
Say something.
Want something.
We all must change.
Don’t wast your time.
Do something right now;
Don’t give up in Copenhagen!

 

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