Buffalo must do its part, work to be climate-smart
Returning home from the U.N. climate conference in Paris where, as an interfaith minister and climate activist, I joined thousands of members of civil society from all over the world, my takeaway can be summed up thus: We are now in a different world. How so? With the Paris agreement, 196 countries reached consensus and committed to an interdependent race limiting the increase of the earth’s temperature requiring a transition to low-carbon economies and away from fossil fuels, a transition that the global business and financial communities recognize must move quickly and efficiently.
Case in point, Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England and chairman of the G20 Financial Stability Board, on Dec. 4 announced that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been appointed to lead a global task force aimed at highlighting the financial exposure of companies to the risk of climate change, helping to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world economy.
Moreover, in his work as U.N. special envoy on cities and climate change, Bloomberg emphasizes the important role that cities can and must play, for it is in cities that “the rubber meets the road” and where most of humanity resides. The timing is perfect for Buffalo. We are already on the move. Let’s do our part in this global race by publicly committing to become climate-smart as the city reinvents itself for the 21st century. A world-class solar panel factory is a great start. Let’s not stop there!
The Rev. Sandra Chelnov