(Michael Bastasch) Former Vice President Al Gore and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon are pushing for $90 trillion in spending to ban cars from every major city in the world and make them more dense.
Gore and Calderon presented a report from the Global Commission on the Economy & Climate (GCEC) and argued that fighting global warming will require making cities more compact and wholly reliant on public transit. This is the only way to make sure urban areas don’t contribute to global warming, the two politicians argued.
Calderon and Gore argued that $90 trillion is going to be spent anyways in the coming decades upgrading cities around the world. They argue that it should be spent on making cities more climate friendly.
“The mistake we made in Mexico was to let cities develop however they want, and it’s a mess,” Calderon told Business Insider.
GCEC’s study says that “more compact, better-connected cities with strong mass transit systems will help policy-makers tackle these pressing challenges. Such cities are more productive, socially inclusive, resilient, cleaner, quieter and safer.”
The study says that 70 percent of the world’s energy-use and greenhouse-gas emissions come from cities. Reducing emissions from ever-growing urban areas will show “that the goals of economic growth and climate change can work together,” according to GCEC.
Calderon and Gore made their presentation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where, ironically (or maybe not, at this point), some 1,700 private jets — which use petroleum — were used to shuttle in conference participants and others to discuss global warming and other pressing global issues.
There was such a big influx of air traffic, reports Newsweek, that the Swiss military had to open an air base for the private jets to land. At last year’s meeting in Davos, some 200 helicopters were used to bring in conference-goers.
Gore also used the conference to announce a massive concert to raise awareness about global warming. He and pop star Pharrell Williams are calling it “Live Earth” and it will be staged in six cities across the globe — not exactly a small carbon footprint.
The concert is supposed to build up support for an international climate treaty ahead of the United Nations summit in Paris later this year. Pharrell says he wants to “have humanity harmonize all at once.”
“It is absolutely crucial that we build public will for an agreement,” Gore told World Economic Forum participants. “The purpose is to have a billion voices with one message, to demand climate action now.”