2007_05_c40.jpgMayors from around are in the middle of the three-day Climate Summit being held at the Essex House. And Mayor Bloomberg took the time to explain why mayors must lead the effort to address environmental issues. The NY Times reports that Bloomberg strayed from his prepared remarks and said:

The world really is looking to these cities for leadership. You’re not going to get this from other government bodies. You’re going to get it from the mayors of the world and the cities of the world, where they have to make decisions, and the consequences of their decisions are visible within hours or days. We are the ones that can take this world ahead.

Bloomberg also took time to toot the PlaNYC initiative. Mayor Ken Livingstone, who implemented congestion pricing in London, told him, Can I just give you one word of warning?" Mr. Livingstone said during a news conference in Central Park. "There may be one or two people who will predict doom and gloom. Ignore them."

It's unclear who the reporter that asked Mayor Bloomberg during the press conference why Central Park streetlights were turned on in the middle of the day, but to whomever he or she is, you rule. This is the exchange via the Sun:

A flustered but quick-witted Mr. Bloomberg said, "I have absolutely no idea why the streetlights in Central Park are switched on. I'm glad you brought that to the mayor's attention. They shouldn't be turned on. I assume they are controlled by some kind of an automatic device which is malfunctioning."

After a quick side conversation with his press secretary, he added that the lights were needed to power the sound system. "If it's not true, it just shows the creativity of my press secretary," he joked.

Streetsblog pointed out that Bloomberg is one of over 500 mayors to sign the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement: "Initiated by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels in 2005, the agreement commits participating cities to reduce CO2 emissions to 1990 levels, matching the goals of the Kyoto Protocol, of which the United States is not a signee." Streesblog also found that Mayor Bloobmerg doesn't think city employees have the right to free parking.

And since there were leaders from all over the world, Mayor Bloomberg also opened his speech with, "Good afternoon, everyone-and welcome to New York, the world's most international city, and in that spirit, let me also say bienvenidos - wilkomen - huan ying and bienvenue. I could go on in a few more languages, too, but I don't want to start an international incident with my accent."

Photographs of mayors at the Climate Summit by David Karp/AP