GLASGOW, UK — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Scotland.
The conference is being called “the last best chance” to fight global warming.
“The decisions that are made here will directly impact every single Houstonian," Turner said.
Besides leading Houston, Turner said his leadership roles with three groups taking part in the conference earned him an invitation to Glasgow.
For breakfast on Wednesday morning, he joined mayors from around the world and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
"We cannot afford not to be at the table," Turner said.
Turner said Kerry talked about the need for cities to continue driving efforts to fight climate change. Turner said some of the largest emitters are in the energy capital of the world. He believes local changes will mean global benefits.
“I’ve talked about our Resilient Houston Plan that we put forth in February of last year and our Climate Action Plan in which we are working with the energy sector. We’re not running away from the energy sector, but we’re working with the energy sector to move things forward,” Turner said.
Turner said there’s a lot of interest about Houston because it’s home to some of the largest greenhouse gas emitters. Houston has had five federally declared disasters in Turner's six years in office.
“I’ve talked to Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil about carbon capture utilization and storage. So, those plans are already underway. I’ve talked to the energy sector about plastic recycling on a major scale,” Turner said.
Turner said he also talked about things like Houston’s heat mapping last August and their goal of planting 4.6 million trees.
In Sunnyside, construction on the country’s largest urban solar farm will begin by year’s end. By 2050, or sooner, the city is aiming for net-zero emissions.
He’s planning to attend several more panels this week.