November 7, 2010
NYC Mayor Pushes For Electric Taxis In Large Cities
NY City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters on Saturday that he vows to promote the use of electric taxis as he becomes head of a global coalition of major cities.
The wealthy mayor urged representatives at the C40 conference in Hong Kong to wield the power of its large population of more than 1.3 billion people.
C40 is a group of 40 cities founded in 2005 with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. There are 19 other affiliate member cities.
Bloomberg said cities with huge car and taxi populations have a huge role to play in cutting emissions. The 19 of the C40 cities where statistics were available are home to more than 20 million cars. 25 member cities have oversight of taxi fleets controlling more than a million cabs.
"Think of that "” a million-plus autos, the most iconic vehicles in our downtowns, that we can start to work together to make more efficient and less polluting," the Associated Press quoted Bloomberg as saying.
He suggests that cities agree on common designs and place orders for vehicles together. Although, he acknowledged later to reporters that there would be practical difficulties in introducing the same electric cabs, due to differences in economics and regulations.
But he said he was hopeful that cities with similar standards will be able to work together.
"We've seen, I think again and again, how national governments have struggled, both at home and at the international stage, to take climate change actions," Bloomberg said. "Together, we have to fill the vacuum of leadership ourselves."
Bloomberg is a firm believer in the executive powers of city government, referring to the practice of installing energy-efficient electrical equipment in older buildings.
"Most of the things we talk about to improve the environment in New York City "” it's a building code. That's a city function," he said.
Bloomberg also promised to improve information-sharing among cities during his two-year term as C40 chairman, succeeding Mayor David Miller. He plans to provide comparative studies of cities with similar characteristics.
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