Mayors from all over globe gather to celebrate World Environment Day

A five-day gathering to mark U.N. World Environment Day kicks off tomorrow in San Francisco and is expected to bring together at least 70 mayors from cities across the globe. San Francisco is the first U.S. city to host the annual event and will focus workshops, lectures, and other activities on sustainable city living. One of the major goals of the conference is the signing of the Urban Environmental Accords, a plan — billed as the urban Kyoto Protocol — aimed at spurring world cities to take action related to energy conservation, public transit, waste reduction, and environmental health. Organizers say the environmental burden is shifting to municipalities as the proportion of city dwellers increases worldwide. Says San Francisco’s Environment Director Jared Blumenfeld, “A lot of effort has been spent on saving the world’s last wild places, but very little time has been spent on the urban environment.”