A new report ("Lessons from the Pioneers: Tackling Global Warming at the Local Level") issued by the Minnesota-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) last week found that the 355 U.S. cities across 49 states that have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions according to the stringent terms of the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement intended to stem the tide of global warming, face an uphill battle.
None of the 10 major cities studied in the report has successfully limited greenhouse gas emissions growth much less met the goal to meet a seven percent reduction below 1990 levels, as called for by the terms of the Kyoto agreement, which the Bush administration has refused to ratify for fear of its impact on the U.S. economy. Portland, Oregon, appears to be doing best. Their latest data shows that their emissions are less than one percent above 1990 levels.
The lead author of ILSR’s report, John Bailey, told reporters that the silver lining in his findings is that "the sheer number of these "Kyoto cities" promises an interesting mix of strategies and a steep learning curve as communities discover from one another what works and what doesn"t." He is hopeful that reports like his will help spur municipal leaders to take greater strides to do their part to stave off global warming.