Mayor Newsom Announces World Environment Day

(March 18, 2005)

5-Day S.F. Conference of Mayors From Around the World Will Produce Accords Promoting 'Green Cities'

SAN FRANCISCO (March 21, 2005) – Mayor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that mayors from around the world will meet in San Francisco June 1-5 to debate and sign historic accords for "Green Cities" at the 2005 United Nations World Environment Day conference.

Newsom made the announcement at City Hall flanked by San Francisco's former mayors U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Willie L. Brown Jr. Along with Frank Jordan and Art Agnos, the former mayors are co-chairs of the World Environment Day Host Committee.

During the conference, the international gathering of mayors will share ideas and experiences to develop a set of Urban Environmental Accords, which will provide a roadmap for environmental improvements in cities. The Accords cover urban design, transportation, energy, open space, recycling, health, and water–they can be reviewed and commented on at The accords will be signed at City Hall on June 5.

"This is the first United Nations conference to focus on urban environment, so I am very pleased that San Francisco's former mayors can join me as co-chairs of this event," Newsom said. "The accords that we mayors sign will leave a legacy that advances environmental wellbeing for cities around the world."

The United Nations Environment Program awarded the conference to San Francisco, the first time the conference has ever been held in the United States. It is being hosted by the Mayor and the San Francisco Department of the Environment.

"Mayors have the power to shape the future of the world's environment," said Jared Blumenfeld, director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. "With the majority of the earth's population living in cities, decisions made at World Environment Day will have far-reaching effect."

Beyond the official calendar of the conference, Newsom noted that more than 150 community activities are scheduled around World Environment Day. The activities range from special organic menu selections at Bay Area restaurants to a display of artwork made from recycled material. In addition, there will be a Green Cities Expo with booths and exhibits at Fort Mason June 3-4-5.

Those slated to attend the conference include UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and mayors from London, Shanghai, Kabul, Buenos Aires, Sydney, Phnom Penh, Jakarta, Rome, and Istanbul.

"I look forward to working closely with leaders of the world's major cities to establish guidelines for environmentally sensible urban life," Newsom said. "This conference is a remarkable opportunity for all of us."