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Mayor aims to remake Paris into an ‘ecocapital’ – Metro US

Mayor aims to remake Paris into an ‘ecocapital’

Metro met Paris’ mayor Bertrand Delanoë to talk about his ambitions for a greener future in the French capital.

And make no mistake, they are more than just ambitions.

Speaking on the environment, how do you take stock of the situation eight years after you became mayor of Paris?
Since 2001, we tried to work on every possible level to improve Paris environmental performance. For instance, since 2006, social housing and public buildings that are being built in the capital have the High Environmental Quality label.

We also tried to diversify transportation systems to put an end to the automotive hegemony. Therefore, we developed streetcars, protected busways, Velib’ (a bike rental system) and fluvial buses. And we had some results: car traffic has been reduced by 20 per cent between 2002 and 2007, which led to a nine per cent reduction of our carbon emissions and a 32 per cent reduction of nearby pollution. It’s positive, but I want to go further.

You want Paris to become an ecocapital. What do you mean by that?
By 2020, we want to reach a 25 per cent reduction of our gas emissions and 25 per cent of renewable energy in our global energy consumption. We will install 200,000 square metres of solar panels by 2014 to reach this goal. We will also develop geothermics and urban windmills, and start a major isolation plan for 55,000 apartments by 2020.

What do you expect from the world powers today?
I want clear commitments from rich countries by 2020 and 2050, with restrictives rules and a precise schedule. But we also need a massive support to Africa, with technologies transfers and a financial aid. The plan proposed by France is already 7 billion euros below the current European Union propositions.

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