By David Pendered
On Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s second day in Paris to attend the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, his press office released a statement Friday outlining his schedule of events and to talk up sustainability efforts taken during his administration.
“Climate change is one of the most important issues we face nationally and internationally,” Reed said in the statement. “Atlanta’s presence at the COP 21 Paris climate meetings demonstrates our commitment to local action.
“I look forward to sharing our work in the City of Atlanta with other leaders from around the world, and collaborating on opportunities to cut pollution and secure a stable climate for future generations,” Reed’s statement concluded.
Reed is among a dozen mayors of U.S. cities whose trip to participate in the conference is being financed by Resilient Communities for America. The organization is a partnership among groups including ICLEI, National League of Cities, U.S. Green Building Council, World Wildlife Fund, along with C40 and Bloomberg Philanthropies, according to the RCA’s website.
According to the city’s statement:
- “Mayor Reed participated in a number of panel discussions and sessions with world leaders, including a Buildings Day’ session focused on ways to reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint from commercial buildings. He discussed Atlanta’s national leadership in the Better Buildings Challenge, and was joined by Ms. Clover Moore, Mayor of Sydney, Australia; Mr. Marcio Lacedera, Mayor of Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Mr. Bilma Arya, Mayor of Bogor, Indonesia; Mr. Johannes Van Der Merwe, Cape Town City Councilor; and Ms. Jennifer Layke, Director, Building Efficiency Initiative with the World Resources Institute. The Better Buildings Challenge is a public-private partnership to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020. Atlanta leads the nation with more than 100 million square feet of commercial building space committed to the challenge.”
Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Atlanta’s director of sustainability, joined the mayor on the trip and represented Atlanta at the 2015 C40 Cities Awards dinner. According to the statement:
- “The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, now in its 10th year, connects more than 75 cities across the world representing more than 550 million people and one quarter of the world’s economy. The network of the world’s megacities focuses on tackling climate change and driving urban action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks while increasing the health, well being and economic opportunities of urban residents.”
The statement noted that this is the third major environmental event Reed has attended this year. Previously Reed participated in a joint U.S./China summit that convened in Los Angeles, and in November Reed attended the World Economic Forum Conference on Urban Mobility, and the McKinsey & Co. Global Infrastructure Initiative, in San Francisco.