Philadelphia mayor travels to Copenhagen for climate summit

Pat Loeb
October 07, 2019 - 4:00 am
Mayor Jim Kenney

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is in Copenhagen this week for two environmental conferences, and he hopes his presence will make a statement. 

Kenney does not relish foreign travel, but he said says he wants to show the city is serious about climate change by attending the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, followed immediately by the C40 World Mayors Summit.

"Staff and others have convinced me that European and other foreign cities, if the mayor doesn't show up, it's seemingly not a priority for Philadelphia," he said. 

He said it's important for cities to push back on the dismantling of federal environmental rules.

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The mayor is taking along the Water Department's climate change adaption manager, his directors of sustainability and zero waste, and Lauren Swartz of the Commerce Department.

"Copenhagen is one of the top 15 cities in the world on our target market priority list, where the city of Philadelphia has opportunity to connect with businesses to create that positive economic impact here," Swartz said.

Officials say the C40, a group of cities taking action on climate change, is paying for most of the travel but the trip will cost taxpayers about $15,000. The mayor will give opening remarks at the first conference, appear on two panels and speak at a press conference with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.