Tuesday, July 17, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kriseman traveling to Chicago for global climate change summit

Mayor Rick Kriseman won reelection, in part, because of his public commitment to confronting a changing climate in the Sunshine City.

During the campaign, Kriseman repeatedly attacked his opponent, Rick Baker, for not fully embracing the scientific consensus that human activity is the driving force behind rising seas and a warming planet.

The political strategy proved effective in Kriseman's Nov. 7 victory over Baker.

Now comes the policy.

This week, the mayor will be in Chicago to  trade ideas with more than 40 other mayors from around the world, including Buenos Aires, Dar Es Salaam, Copenhagen and Paris. U.S mayors scheduled to attend include Washington D.C's Muriel Bowser, Phoenix's Greg Stanton, San Francisco's Edwin Lee and Detroit's Mike Duggan. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hosting the summit.

The three days of panels and break-out discussions should give mayors plenty of time to compare and contrast their cities' challenges, the mayor said.

"It will give us a chance to share experiences. What's worked and what hasn't," said Kriseman before leaving Monday afternoon.

Sharon Wright, the city's sustainability and resiliency manager, is accompanying Kriseman to the gathering. Wright has been leading the city's comprehensive sustainability action plan and its efforts to cut carbon emissions.

Kriseman pledged in 2015 to make St. Petersburg a 100 percent renewable energy city.

The only other Florida mayor attending the Global Convenant of Mayors North American Climate Summit and C40 Cities Bloomberg Philanthropies Awards is North Bay Village Mayor Connie Leon-Kreps.

North Bay Village is a municipality of about 7,000 between Miami and Miami Beach.

At the conclusion of the summit, which runs through Tuesday, Kriseman and the other mayors or their designees will sign the "Chicago Climate Charter," which calls on local governments to take the lead on climate change in the face of federal inaction.

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