Hodges to travel to NYC for climate-change summit

Mayor Betsy Hodges is traveling to New York City in late September to meet again with leaders who pledged to take action on climate change earlier this summer at a two-day summit with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

The event at the New School on Sept. 24 will be hosted by Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and a special advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It will also coincide with Pope Francis’ address to leaders at the U.N.

The leaders will be officially launching the Urban Sustainable Development Goals Alliance in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris set for Nov. 30–Dec. 11. Leaders from around the world will be discussing an international agreement to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.)

The Urban Sustainable Development Goals Alliance’s agenda includes identifying ways to decarbonize the energy system; ending human trafficking and all forms of modern slavery; and helping cities create sustainable development plans, among many other goals.

Hodges said she’s particularly interested in finding ways to promote sustainable development that benefits everyone in the community. She said she’d also like to extend an invitation to Sachs to visit Minneapolis as well to discuss climate change issues.

In Minneapolis, city leaders are working on a number of fronts to address climate change, including rolling out a new citywide organics recycling program and partnering with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy on a Clean Energy Partnership. The city has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 compared to 2006 levels.