Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf to talk about cities’ role at Paris climate change summit

OAKLAND (BCN) —¬†Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Tuesday that she will talk about the role cities can play in fighting climate change when she participates in a United Nations climate summit in Paris.

Schaaf, who will fly to Paris later Tuesday, said, “If enough cities take tangible steps to fight climate change, they can effect change.”

Schaaf said she will be representing Oakland at the conference in Paris as part of the “Local Climate Leaders Circle,” a group of 12 local government leaders advocating for recognition of local governments in meeting the challenges of climate change.

Schaaf said she will be making multiple presentations at the conference to highlight Oakland’s ambitious climate change goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent by 2020 and by 83 percent by 2050.

She said she also will talk about the progress Oakland has made so far on achieving those goals, as well as projects that have helped the city reduce its emissions by 10 percent since 2005.

“I’m terribly concerned about climate change, both as a mayor and as a mother,” Schaaf said.

The mayor said one of the things she worries about is that the world’s oceans could rise and leave Oakland International Airport under water.

“We need to build up levees to protect the airport from sea level rise, but an even better approach would be to change peoples’ behavior so we don’t see sea level rise,” Schaaf said.

Daniel Hamilton, Oakland’s sustainability program manager, will travel with Schaaf to Paris for the climate summit.

Schaaf said no city funds are being used to cover travel costs or other expenses associated with the trip because they’re being paid for by non-profit groups that are fighting climate change.

She said she and Hamilton will return from Paris next Tuesday.

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