The day after the Kyoto Protocol went into effect last week without U.S. participation, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced plans to lead a city-by-city effort to limit carbon dioxide emissions in accordance with the terms of the international treaty rejected by the Bush administration.
Nickels is trying to build a coalition of his counterparts before the next U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in June. "Seattle, along with other U.S. cities, will provide the leadership necessary to meet this threat," said Nickels.
Already a leader in the fight against global warming, Seattle has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent and required greater fuel efficiency in its municipal auto fleet over the last decade. Nickels said he plans to work with the state legislature to pass a clean-car bill requiring more stringent emissions standards for cars sold in Washington. He also said that Seattle neighborhoods will compete for matching funds from the city based on carbon dioxide emissions reduction efforts.
Seattle joins several dozen other American cities that have already made commitments to adhere to the terms of the Kyoto Protocol. Meanwhile, mayors from several other American cities (including Santa Monica and Oakland, California and Portland, Oregon) have expressed solidarity with Nickels in his bid to form a coalition of cities committed to fight global warming.