The council voted 7-1 in favor of the U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement, which calls for cities nationwide to commit to a 7 percent reduction in 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the next five years. The reductions should come through land-use policies to reduce urban sprawl, tree-planting programs and public information campaigns, according to the national agreement.
Cities also are asked as part of the agreement to lobby Congress to pass national emissions-reduction legislation.
Raleigh is the 20th North Carolina city–and the largest in the state–to become part of the Sierra Club's "Cool City" program. Others include Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough.
The City Council also voted to join the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives-Local Governments for Sustainability, an international association of local governments committed to sustainable development. The group will give the city access to software to conduct an emissions inventory, which officials said would help establish reduction goals and strategies.
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