March 8, 2012Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's remarks as prepared for delivery today in Chicago, Illinois at the Economic Cooperation and Development Conference, Organized by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group follow:
“Earlier today, I stressed that cities, not just New York and Chicago, but cities worldwide, see sustainability and economic growth as desirable, necessary, and, in today’s world, closely tied to one another.
“As chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which brings the world’s great cities together to address the impacts of global climate change, I’d now like to announce the next steps we’re taking to help cities achieve both sustainability and prosperity.
“Today C40 is launching two action-oriented networks that will strengthen how cities work together toward those goals.
“I’m pleased to announce that the first of these networks, which will focus on ‘sustainable infrastructure finance,’ will be led by Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago.
“With assistance from C40’s staff, this network will help cities learn from one another, and work together in creating, evaluating, and replicating new financing structures for improved mass transit, alternative power generation, and other ‘green’ projects. Having Chicago lead this global network will enable others to learn from what Chicago has already achieved, and also the challenges you’re still working to overcome.
“Last month, the City of Basel, Switzerland, hosted a meeting of cities to develop an agenda for this network. Basel is also represented here today, and will work closely with the City of Chicago and with C40 as we make this new collaborative network a reality.
“This kind of city-to-city exchange, particularly between cities in economically advanced nations and the rapidly growing cities in developing nations, is something C40 is strongly committed to. And it’s a subject I’ll speak to in more detail in the next session of today’s conference.
“The second network we’re launching today, which my own city of New York is joining, is C40’s new ‘green growth network.’
“This network, which is being led by the City of Copenhagen and which the staff of C40 will also assist, will focus on the full range of ways cities can work with the private sector to attract investment and create jobs, in ways that also meet our environmental goals.
“This morning, I touched on several ways we’re doing that in New York – through our ‘greener, greater’ building laws, and our plans to convert some of our municipal waste to renewable energy. Other cities are also bringing the private sector into partnerships to address such issues, too.
“We’ve got a lot to learn from one another – and that’s what this network will encourage.
“Before turning things back over to Rahm, let me add this: While cities around the world understand that action at the national and international levels is crucial, the launch of these networks shows that we’re not waiting for anyone else to go first.
“We’re the level of government closest to the majority of the world’s people. We’re directly responsible for their well-being and their futures.
“So while nations talk, but too often drag their heels – cities act. And the launch of these two networks also demonstrates C40’s belief that when cities act locally, we can also have an impact globally.”