December 21, 2015
This week’s On The Radio segment looks at Des Moines mayor Frank Cownie and sustainability initiatives he has led in Iowa’s capital city.
Transcript: Des Moines mayor touts ability of city governments to pursue sustainability
Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie was among more than 500 mayors from around the world in Paris earlier this month as part of the COP21 international climate conference.
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
Mayor Cownie sat down with University of Iowa civil and environmental engineering professor Jerry Schnoor at the international climate conference in Paris to discuss ways that city governments can help in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions and also to discuss specific initiatives taken in Iowa’s capital city. One such initiative was Des Moines’ LEED platinum-certified World Food Prize building, which at the time of its opening was the largest single-owner, single-occupant LEED platinum building in the world.
Des Moines was also one of the first cities to the sign the Compact of Mayors agreement, which is an accord by mayors from roughly 120 cities across the United States that have responded to the president’s plea to address climate change through local government initiatives. Cownie said he thinks that the smaller size of city government makes it easier to implement certain measures compared to state and federal initiatives.
COWNIE: “We don’t need to have an act of congress or an appropriation that might come 12 to 16 months down the road. If there are things that need to be done we can do them today. We’re working in preparedness and mitigation techniques. We recognize from past experiences some of the vulnerabilities we have even in Iowa.”
For full text and video from the interview with Mayor Cownie, visit Iowa-Environmental-Focus-dot-org.
From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Nick Fetty.