Seattle, other U.S. cities to hammer out their own Kyoto-like reductions

The Kyoto Protocol has arrived, and though the Bush administration has opted out, others in the U.S. are not so climate oblivious. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced Wednesday he’s leading an effort to get major U.S. cities to agree to Kyoto-like reductions of their greenhouse-gas emissions, to show the feds that “the cost is minimal or there isn’t a cost at all,” he said. The mayors of 10 other cities including Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Portland, Ore., have already expressed interest in the effort, to be formalized in June at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Chicago. To help Seattle find creative ways of meeting Kyoto targets, Nickels has created a “green ribbon” coalition chaired by Denis Hayes, environmental leader and coordinator of the first Earth Day, and current-but-soon-to-be-former CEO of Starbucks Orin Smith. “This is not going to be ‘turn out your lights when you leave rooms.’ We’ll be looking for ways we can dramatically decarbonize the economy and at the same time make it robust,” said Hayes.