January 29, 2009
Rory Neuner, Michigan Environmental Council: 773-569-4440
Detroit joins Michigan cities vowing aggressive cuts in global
than900 cities nationwide commit to new energy future
Detroit today joined the growing ranks
of cities embracing a green economy and taking the initiative against climate
change, committing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions significantly during the
next several years.
Ken Cockrel signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
during an event at Eastern Market this afternoon, vowing to cut greenhouse gas
emissions 7 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2012.
Detroit joins at least 23 other Michigan municipalities that have signed the
mayors’ agreement. Nationally, 910 mayors, representing more than 82 million
Americans, have joined the fight.
“This is a timely announcement, with the biggest, most visible
city in Michigan
signaling that it is on board with the state’s efforts to curb global
warming pollution and diversify our economy through energy efficiency and
renewable energy ventures,” said Chris Kolb,
president of the Michigan Environmental Council.
“We applaud Mayor Cockrel along with the mayors of the other
responsible forward-looking cities who have adopted the agreement.”
The commitment helps position Detroit
to transition into a greener, more prosperous city that is opening the door to
green industry and jobs for its residents. Initiatives supporting that goal
include: Replacing its expensive, polluting incinerator with trash disposal options
led by aggressive curbside recycling; deploying a new generation of more
effective public transportation systems; and attracting innovative sustainable
businesses to the city’s available industrial lands.
Sandra Turner-Handy, community outreach director with the
Michigan Environmental Council’s Detroit
office credited Detroit’s
numerous grassroots citizens groups with helping convince Cockrel to commit to
a cleaner, more vibrant city.
“Citizen activists across the city have helped show this administration
that there is a better, brighter future than business-as-usual. Today’s
announcement is an indication that their work
toward revitalizing the city with a green economy is paying off,”
she said. “Moves like this make Detroit
Under the Agreement, participating cities commit to the following
- Strive to meet or
beat the international Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities,
through actions ranging from anti-sprawl land-use policies to urban forest
restoration projects to 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.
For more information on the Climate Protection Agreement, visit: