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HANNEMANN: 1,000 MAYORS SIGNED CLIMATE PROTECTION AGREEMENT

 

(Friday, October 2, 2009) Seattle—Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced that 1,000 U.S. mayors have now signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement that Hannemann and many other mayors have endorsed in 2005.

 

            “This is wonderful news for our environment and our future,” said Hannemann, a USCM Trustee and chairman of the group’s Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports. “These 1,000 mayors represent more than 86 million Americans, and we’re making it clear across the nation that environmental protection is among our top priorities.”

Under the Agreement, participating cities pledge to:

  • strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in their own communities, through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest restoration projects and public information campaigns;
  • urge their state governments, and the federal government, to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol—7 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2012; and
  • urge the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan greenhouse gas reduction legislation, which includes clear timetables and emission limits and a flexible, market-based system of tradable allowances among emitting industries.

 

The Agreement is the only climate protection agreement of its kind among U.S. elected officials. The USCM is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.

 

Hannemann made his commitment to sustainable practices, alternative energy development and climate protection immediately after taking office in 2005 and assembled a city task force to draft and implement Honolulu’s first comprehensive sustainability plan, called the 21st Century Ahupua`a in honor of Hawaii’s indigenous culture.  Early Hawaiians maintained a complex model of resource management that provided for future generations with meticulous care for the land and ocean.

 

Honolulu’s 21st Century Ahupua`a seeks to emulate the Polynesian sensitivity but also utilize modern technologies.  Honolulu ranks among the top cities for the use of biodiesel fuel and hybrid buses.  It currently has a very aggressive photovoltaic deployment strategy underway to help harness Hawaii’s steady sunshine, and has just completed implementation of island-wide curbside recycling of mixed recyclables and green waste.  The city’s garbage-to-energy plant is being enlarged to help meet the aggressive goal of 80 percent landfill diversion by 2012. Honolulu is also developing a modern rail rapid transit system to provide an alternative to gasoline-powered automobiles on our crowded roadways.

 

“We have an opportunity to make Hawaii into a model of self-sufficiency, sustainability and environmental awareness for the rest of the world,” said Hannemann.

 

Hannemann is attending the USCM Fall Leadership Conference in Seattle, which will include presentations from Obama administration officials regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the funding opportunities it provides for infrastructure projects and other initiatives. Honolulu is already slated to receive $94 million through ARRA, and recently began work on Hawaii’s first major infrastructure project to receive funding through the federal stimulus program: the rehabilitation of 5,820 feet of defective sewer lines in Waimalu.

 

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Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Press Secretary, 768-6928