Mayors pledge to cut carbon emissions by getting dirty buses and cars off city streets

By Tony Barboza VIA

A dozen more cities have signed on to an international pledge to fight climate change and reduce traffic pollution by transitioning to zero-emission buses and getting other fossil fuel-powered vehicles off their streets. 

Honolulu, Santa Monica, Seoul, Warsaw and West Hollywood are among the communities pledging to procure only zero-emission buses by 2025 and make “a major area” emissions free by 2030, a coalition of mayors announced Friday at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

The actions are based on preventing the most devastating effects of climate change by keeping the rise of global temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius. To do so, scientists say greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2020, decline steeply by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.

“It is in cities where most emissions take place,” Mauricio Rodas, the mayor of Quito, Ecuador, told reporters Friday. “So it is in cities where we have to fight the biggest battle and the biggest challenge.”

The mayors signing the pledge aim to achieve its goals by procuring more electric vehicles for city fleets, investing in public transit and taking other steps to reduce driving and slash pollution.

The latest cities to sign on to the Green & Healthy Streets declaration are home to more than 140 million people and join 14 other cities including Paris, London, Los Angeles and Mexico City that are focused on tackling climate change as part of the coalition C40 Cities.