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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mayors' Global Warming Summit Wraps Up at Sundance

This year's Sundance Summit: A Mayors Gathering on Climate Protection equipped 31 mayors, representing 5 million Americans from Alaska to Florida, with the policy and communications tools necessary to bolster their cities' fight against global warming.

Sundance Preserve founder Robert Redford, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, and ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) co-hosted the second annual summit Nov. 12-14, to amplify the leadership mayors have been showing, in the absence of significant federal initiatives pinpointing this issue.

"I am highly encouraged by the enthusiasm and creativity of the attending mayors," says Redford. "These mayors see the opportunity in facing the challenges posed by climate change," he continued. "They took it seriously and really made a commitment to go home and not only talk about solutions but to take action to implement them in their cities," he continued. "Their continued leadership remains enormously important."

The mayors left the summit with various public education, media outreach, and policy tools to help them emphasize the scientific consensus regarding global warming as well as the urgent need for action. Tools include the website,,org; a public service short film; customizable Power Point presentations, fact sheets, messaging documents, a general resource handbook, as well as legislative tools from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Sundance Summit closed with mayors making specific commitments and calls to action in their cities, including the provision of incentives to citizens and businesses to adopt more "green" practices; the addition of more hybrid vehicles to city fleets; the encouragement of green building standards; an increase in the energy efficiency of public facilities; plus more extensive outreach to Native American tribes and regional coalitions to these ends.

"This year's Sundance Summit represented an important step forward in the fight against global warming. The mayors are aware of the leadership role they are playing, are truly dedicated to working together and in their communities to institute actual policy. As local leaders, they are in a unique position to act quickly and effectively," says Michelle Wyman, executive director of ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability.

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability ICLEI was founded in 1990 by local governments at the United Nations Headquarters in New York as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). ICLEI is a democratically governed membership association of cities, towns, counties, metropolitan governments, and local government associations.


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