Since 2005, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group has functioned as a key and innovative player in governmental action and awareness in relation to climate change. According to Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York and President of the Board of the Organization, "C40 cities lead the change in combating the impacts of global climate change."
Miami has been called the "gateway" to North and Latin America. It is one of the great cities of the world. Increasingly, hemispheric commerce in Miami is a key and accelerated driver of global economic activity. Miami's population is rich and diverse culturally. It is located in a central transportation crossroad. Innovation in this city is abundant. In short, Miami is a "world-class" city.
The city has also been authoritatively referred to as "ground zero" for sea level rise. As the ascending Atlantic Ocean becomes increasingly acidified by absorbing greenhouse gas emissions, the ocean threatens the health, safety and welfare of millions who reside in Southeastern Florida.
Of all 66 megacities in the C40, there are impressive names: New York, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Melbourne, Seoul, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Rome, Venice, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Mexico City, Paris, Rome, Austin, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and many others.
But there is one glaring omission...Miami. I do not understand that. We should not accept non-participation in the C40.
According to Resilientmiami.com, Miami was "largely absent" from the February 4-6, 2014 Fifth Biennial C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
There are three different types of C40 memberships. Megacities, Innovator Cities, and Observer Cities. According to Wikipedia, 42 cities are in the Observer category. Miami should be in the Megacities category.
Mayor Bloomberg explains, "C40 encourages collaboration from cities from all parts of the world. And we believe cities have an obligation to share best practices and work together to innovate and improve our best ideas. We also believe our cities have an obligation to lead."
We in South Florida face unique challenges confronted by climate change, sea level rise and poisoned oceans. Local government leaders are working on solutions. Miami has, long ago, earned the right to be a C40 city member.
Why isn't it already?
We have knowledge to share with other cities, and much to learn from their experiences.
Learn more about C40 here. The Wikipedia article is here.