Date: January 10, 2015

Contact: Guillermo Rodriguez, Policy and Communications Director, (415) 355-3756 or

Our Cities, Our Climate Exchange will Leverage International Partnerships towards Innovative Climate Change Action

Download this press release in PDF format

San Francisco, Calif. – San Francisco is hosting a historic international partnership of leaders committed to addressing climate change and its dangerous impacts as part of the Our Cities, Our Climate program. Sustainability directors from 19 cities around the world are in San Francisco to discuss best practices for fighting climate change city by city.

“Our cities are leading the way when it comes to combatting the harmful effects of climate change, and City leaders are at the forefront of developing innovative, cost- saving solutions to address a worldwide challenge,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “I applaud the world’s sustainability directors for acknowledging the serious threat we all face and for sharing best practices and ideas on how we can work together to fight climate change. I also want to thank Secretary of State John Kerry and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg for convening these discussions to develop a global plan of action.”

Led by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. State Department, the Our Cities, Our Climate international exchange – or OC2 – brings together mayors, city sustainability directors and climate change champions for robust, in-depth conversations focusing on issues such as solid waste strategy, transforming energy supplies, and building efficiency.

"San Francisco has been at the forefront of climate change action for years,” said UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg. “Now, their innovative approaches are part of a promising mayoral exchange program - Our Cities, Our Climate, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies - that is bringing city sustainability directors from around the world together to share best practices and success stories. We're glad to be working with Mayor Lee to foster collaboration and communication among cities, which help us accelerate progress on climate change at both the city and national levels."

In San Francisco, the delegation of international sustainability officials will visit EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park & Recology Recycle Central at Pier 96 to receive an overview of San Francisco’s sustainability efforts and study the city’s solid waste transportation systems. The international delegation will also meet with the San Francisco Department of the Environment and Bloomberg LP on themes including City Climate/Carbon Profiles, Policy Context, and City Control & Strategies for Mitigation & Adaptation.

On October 7th, the sustainability directors will join their mayors in Washington DC for a series of meetings hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Special Envoy Michael Bloomberg for high level talks with U. S. Government officials on city-initiated climate change solutions.

“While San Francisco has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions 23% below 1990 levels while our local population and economy grew, we still have much to learn from our colleagues across the globe who like San Francisco are working on city-initiated climate solutions,” said Deborah O. Raphael, Director San Francisco Department of the Environment.

A one-page summary of the OC2 international exchange can be found here.

Media Photo Opportunity: Press are invited for a photo opportunity and possible delegate interviews on Thursday, October 1 at 3:30PM while the delegation tours San Francisco’s EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park (32 Jennings Street) immediately followed by a tour of Recology’s Recycling Center at Pier 96.

Participants include:

  • Argentina Ms. Flavia BROFFONI, General Director of Environmental Strategies, Government of the City of Buenos Aires
  • Australia Mr. Christopher DERKSEMA, Sustainability Director, City of Sydney and Mr. Ian SHEARS, Manager, Urban Sustainability 2015, Melbourne
  • Bangladesh Mr. Mohammad ISLAM, Architect & Chief Urban Planner, Dhaka South City Corporation
  • Brazil Mr. Rodrigo AMORIM GONCALVES ROSA, Special Advisor to the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro and Program Manager for Sustainable Development
  • Canada Ms. Amanda PITREHAYES, Director of Sustainability, City of Vancouver
  • Denmark Mr. Stefan WERNER, Project Manager, Climate Unit, Copenhagen
  • Ethiopia Ms. Almaz ZERAY, Public and International Relations Directorate Bureau Head, Addis Ababa City Administration
  • Germany Ms. Gesa HOMANN, City Official, Special Unit for Climate Protection and Energy, Senate Department for Urban Development & the Environment, Berlin
  • Indonesia Ms. Aisa TOBING, Head of Government Affairs Commission, Jakarta Research Council
  • Japan Mr. Toshinori MISHIMA, Assistant Manager, Climate Change Policy Headquarters, City of Yokohama
  • Jordan Mr. Zaidoun EL QASEM, Director Executive of Environment, the Greater Amman Municipality
  • Mexico Mr. Oscar VAZQUEZ MARTINEZ, Climate Change and CDM Projects Director, Secretariat of Environment in Mexico City
  • Nigeria Dr. Abiodun AFOLABI, D irector of Monitoring, Enforcement & Compliance, Lagos State Ministry of Environment
  • Norway Ms. Trude RAUKEN, Special Adviser, Department of Environment and Transport, Climate and Energy Section, City of Oslo
  • South Africa Ms. Petunia MOLEFE, Acting Director: Air Quality Climate Change & Energy, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality
  • Sweden Ms. Linda PERSSON, Strategist and Policy Advisor, City of Stockholm
  • United Kingdom Mr. Matthew THOMAS, Policy and Programme Officer, Greater London Authority

About Our Cities; Our Climate

The Our Cities, Our Climate (OC2) partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Department of State is an international exchange program bringing together mayors from cities around the world committed to addressing climate change and preventing its harmful effects.

This exchange will allow for the leading voices in the fight against climate change to share best practices, discuss solutions, and ultimately accelerate the progress the world’s cities are making to address this global challenge.

About The San Francisco Department of the Environment

The Department creates visionary policies and innovative programs to improve, enhance, and preserve San Francisco's urban and natural environment, leading the way toward a sustainable future by developing wide-ranging environmental programs, fostering groundbreaking legislation, working collaboratively with key partners, and educating the public on comprehensive sustainability practices.