Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, along with eighty other mega-city mayors from across the world, have been listening to how cities could use water from the sea and rivers to stay cool as climate change causes atmospheric temperatures to rise.
Global warming means cities will get hotter and households and businesses will be increasingly raising carbon emissions from air-conditioning.
However, at the Global Mayors Summit, a simple technology using water pumped through pipes from the river Seine in Paris, has been shown to cool apartments near the Champs Elysees.
Mr. Johnson mentioned his trip to the Engie power station to see how they are using river water to efficiently cool buildings. (Image: Boris Johnson @MayorofLondon)
Mr. Johnson was impressed and said he would like to see London cooling buildings using water from the river Thames. “I don’t like to admit it – but the French are ahead of us on this,” he admitted.
The system works by taking water from the Seine and pumping it round people’s dwellings, like ordinary pumped-water air conditioning. Technology similar to that used for cooling a fridge is used to bring the temperature of the water down.
The mayors, who are working together to deal with climate change, met at the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall). Their meeting coincided with the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP 21 or the Paris Climate Talks, which ends on December 11th.
Acccording to Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro and chairman of the group, the mayors who gathered represented more than six hundred million people, and one quarter of the world’s GDP (gross domestic product).
Mayors can be effective
While governments can move extremely slowly, mayors can often be more effective because they can move more quickly.
The mayors, who claim they have made 10,000 climate initiatives collectively since 2009, said they had learned to share green solution ideas.
According to Mr. Johnson’s team, since he was elected Mayor in 2008, carbon emissions in the UK’s capital have dropped by 14%, despite a population rise.
He said his major focus was to determine how to heat and cool London’s buildings in a low-carbon way using natural gas, which makes up almost 50% of the city’s emissions.
In an interview with BBC News, Green Party member for the London Assembly, Darren Johnson, said:
“On the whole Boris Johnson has been a real disappointment. He has expressed climate sceptic views and failed to meet most of the targets in his (climate) strategies.”
Boris Johnson and the British Ambassador outside the Bataclan concert hall. (Image: Boris Johnson @MayorofLondon)
Mr. Johnson remembers victims of Paris terrorist attack
Mr. Johnson took time out from the meeting and laid a rose at the Bataclan concert hall in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack on November 13th. A total of 130 people were killed in the French capital that day.
Eagles of Death Metal, a Californian rock band, was performing at the Bataclan concert hall when three ISIS terrorists stormed into the building and killed 89 people. One of them was shot dead by police, and the other two blue themselves up by detonating their suicide vests.
Mr. Johnson and British Ambassador to France, Peter Ricketts, laid a rose outside the concert venue.