Mayor Fargo and the Sundance Kid

Robert Redford is fed up with global warming, and he’s asked Mayor Heather Fargo to get on it.

Actually, Redford invited about 30 mayors—including Sacramento’s Fargo and West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon—to Sundance, Utah, last week for the second annual Sundance Summit: A Mayor’s Gathering on Climate Protection.

This year’s summit aimed to educate the local leaders on how to better communicate climate-protection policy to other local officials and their constituents.

Speakers included Redford, Madeleine Albright and Senator Gary Hart, D-Colo., as well as a host of climate-change experts.

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives and Local Governments for Sustainability co-hosted the event. Local leadership will play a key role in the national effort to reduce greenhouse gases, said Michelle Wyman, executive director of ICLEI.

“[The] ultimate goal is driving further reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions by mayors in their cities, and also advancing their leadership and demonstrating to folks within communities all the way upstream to our national government.”

Wyman said cities have an advantage of being able to take it upon themselves to implement policies that produce real results.

ICLEI reported in 2005 that more than 160 cities participated in its greenhouse–gas-reduction campaign and reduced emissions in those cities by 23 million tons. Those reductions, ICLEI claims, have saved those cities millions in health-care and other pollution-related costs.

“Investing in climate protection is good for the economy, good for the environment and good for communities,” Wyman said.

Fargo returned to Sacramento from the summit eager to apply her newly attained insight to the city’s climate-reduction commitment.

“I am going to call a regional summit probably in the first of the year to bring the cities and counties of our region together— to hear from scientists and to look at what we can do locally,” Fargo told SN&R.