Edward Mandla
Lord Mayor C40 Cities Conference Attendance

Published On: 11/11/2013

I find the UN and other nation based climate gab fests tend to lead to nebulous declarations that just spread fear, keep school children awake at night and get very little done.

As Iíve said before, Iím not scared about climate change. I have great faith in technology and human ingenuity to solve the big problems.

Which is why I like C40 cities. Cities just tend to get on with it and implement practical initiatives.

What I particularly like is that cities have strict budgets and as a result they tend to weigh up the costs and benefits of sustainability programs.

And as Council knows, Iím a sucker for a return on investment and will back anything that has a reasonable payback.

In addition, thereís so much to learn from other cities. Thereís nothing like implementing a program here that has already worked somewhere else.

My only issue, I donít know who writes the Environment Committee items. It just seems that every time climate change is mentioned three quarters of an item is laboriously trying to justify it.

As in the last Council cycle, the item should pretty much end at paragraph three. I just donít know why all the IPCC Mumbo Jumbo got put in Ė itís irrelevant and starts making the item smell like a junket.

We should have the courage to say, this is a practical group, we got great results from the last one Ė todayís finance report shows the LED street lighting upgrade benefits in terms of cost savings. The Smart Apartments program was a winner. Therefore, we want to go to this conference to learn and we believe weíll bring great initiatives back for everyoneís benefit and guess what, the business case is likely to stack up.

For practice, Iíd like to see some confidence in this item for Council next week and to have a rewrite cutting out the Mumbo Jumbo.

On the topic of junkets, I donít know how many bag carriers should accompany the Lord Mayor on this trip or who the bag carriers ought to beĖ that needs to be clarified for Council next week. Why? By being abstract, it makes it appear to be a junket.

Conferences are hard work and this one has the potential of real benefits for our city. So I donít have a problem with delegates having some down time to see some sites and to wind down with a cocktail by the pool. I do have a problem with the apologetic tone of the item and the ďhide and seekí it plays with who and why they should go.

Edward Mandla
November 2013

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