As many of the world’s cities continue to become heavily populated, sustainability challenges come to the forefront. With population growth there are going to be more concentrated demands for clean water, energy, waste management and transportation options. Watch Lisa P. Jackson, administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, talk to genConnect about sustainability challenges facing urban communities:
WATCH: City Dwellers Are More Environmentally Friendly
New York City is one urban area setting a great example for others. “Mayor Bloomberg has really taken sustainability as what is going to be the future of the city,” said Administrator Jackson. “He understands that making a city more efficient is great.”
EPA’s Energy Star program is also an easy way for consumers to buy energy-efficient appliances at low prices. For example, they recommend installing better windows in your home as one of the many ways to help. Providing incentives to migrate toward cleaner practices also is needed, Jackson said. For example, moving from polluting heating oils to cleaner oils is also better for cities, all around. “That’s going to save lives of children on the streets in New York,” Jackson said.
Jackson also discussed lessons learned from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, and preservation and restoration policies being put into place by the Obama administration. For example, earlier this year, President Obama signed the The RESTORE Act, which calls for 80 percent of any penalties paid by BP for the spill to go toward restoration. “Those kind of public policy changes are really important,” she said.
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