The United Nations’s 21st Conference of the Parties on climate change, or COP21, began Nov. 30 and continues through Dec. 11 in Le Bourget outside Paris.
Cities and states aren’t officially part of the negotiations, but California has been in the forefront of efforts to fight global warming because of Brown’s executive order in April committing the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
“We’ve got a long way to go to deal with climate change – a lot of inertia, a lot of complacency – and we need the energy from the grassroots and the states,” said Brown in remarks on Saturday.
“Most heads of state at the conference are national leaders, but because of California’s vanguard position on climate — which sets strong renewable-energy goals — our delegation was invited to attend,” noted Atkins.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said he hopes the presence of mayors and other local leaders at COP21 will help push world leaders to reach an agreement effective enough to halt and reverse climate change.
“There is a real sense of urgency that cities are where the rubber hits the road,” he said. “We’re going to be responsible for the majority of actions to reverse climate change.”
City News Service contributed to this article.
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