Mayor Don Iveson
City of Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson (Photo credit: mastermaq / Flikr)

The City of Edmonton is often called the oil capital of Canada. But Mayor Don Iveson does not shy away from discussing climate change. Nor do many of his peers.

Iveson: “Local government leaders in Canada, for example, we’ve been talking about climate change openly for 25 years. Like, I was a kid when mayors were talking about climate change. And subnational and national leaders couldn’t talk about it until very recently, or wouldn’t talk about it.”

He says mayors tend to lead on the issue because cities bear many of the costs of climate change.

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Iveson: “It’s the disasters, the risks, insurance bills going up. And so it’s hitting people’s bottom line already, and they’re starting to connect the dots, and that makes it real. That makes it tangible. And mayors can’t hide from that stuff.”

Now thousands of city leaders from around the world are committing to reduce carbon pollution and urging others to join them. They’ve signed the Edmonton Declaration – an effort spearheaded by Iveson.

It calls for action in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and stresses the importance of science-based policy. It also calls on the science community to help cities get the data they need …

Iveson: “… to rise to both the mitigation challenges and the adaptation challenges at the local level, and really to drive solutions from the bottom up.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.