FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 4, 2015
Mayor Kasim Reed Participates in COP 21 Panel in Paris
ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed arrived in Paris yesterday for a series of speaking engagements and to participate in the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, organized by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The event is one of several happening alongside the United Nations Twenty-First Conference of the Parties, a series of negotiations among world leaders to make an agreement to address global climate change, known as COP 21.
“Climate change is one of the most important issues we face nationally and internationally,” said Mayor Reed. “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.”
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.
Following the panel, Mayor Reed participated in two media interviews. He joined hosts Rose Scott and Jim Burress on WABE’s A Closer Look and GPB News to share his experience of COP 21 and goals for Atlanta’s participation.
Mayor Reed will participate in a session tomorrow entitled “Cities and Regions, Leading from the Front with Equity and Inclusion,” in which he will join other municipal executives in discussing leadership on climate at the local level.
At the 2015 C40 Cities Awards dinner, Sustainability Director Stephanie Stuckey Benfield represented the City of Atlanta. 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, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban residents.
Mayor Reed is among the leading city executives in the U.S. on climate change. This year, he addressed a joint U.S.-China summit on climate in Los Angeles, sharing many of the ideas and solutions currently in use in the City of Atlanta with an audience of hundreds of Chinese officials and dignitaries. In November, Mayor Reed presented at the World Economic Forum Conference on Urban Mobility and the McKinsey & Co. Global Infrastructure Initiative in San Francisco. Both events featured national and international business and government leaders, and focused on developing solutions for transportation and sustainability challenges as the world’s population shifts.
Under Mayor Reed’s leadership, the City of Atlanta is innovating in implementing solutions for climate change and sustainability. Among them: undertaking a project to increase its reserve waters supply from three days to 90 days by turning Bellwood Quarry into a reservoir; the Solar Atlanta initiative that will see solar panels installed on 28 firehouses and recreation center, lowering energy consumption by as much as 40 percent, and the Better Buildings Challenge, a national initiative to lower commercial energy consumption. The City of Atlanta currently leads among participating cities in the Challenge, with buildings representing more than 100,000 square-feet of office space involved.
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