World’s mayors gather for climate-change summit in New York City

Gone are the days when mayors chomped cigars and handed out keys to the city. Today’s civic leaders face a somewhat more monumental task: saving the planet. This week, mayors from more than 30 of the world’s biggest cities — from Bangkok to Berlin, Sydney to Shanghai — are in New York City to compare notes on fighting climate change. The C40 Large Cities Climate Summit follows a smaller event held in London in 2005; this time it also includes business leaders. With renewable energy, mass transit, and carbon reduction on the agenda, hosts — including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former President Clinton — expect concrete results. “It’s no longer a matter just of rhetoric,” says Kathryn Wylde, president of the business-oriented Partnership for New York City. “Mayors are ‘roll up your sleeves’ guys that really have to run a city and do things.” Local leaders, London’s Ken Livingstone agreed, “can’t put it off for another study or wait for someone else to lead — you have got to act.”