Houston has long been known as the center of the American oil industry. -
But can it also be a counterintuitive example of how cities respond to climate change?
Houston is the business place of the American oil industry.
Many of the world's largest companies-
Exxon, Shell, ConocoPhillips-
Headquarters or offices here.
Its location is critical. -
The area is full of oil fields, offshore drilling platforms and refineries.
So it may be surprising to learn that the city will soon have its own solar panel farm.
This is the latest chapter in Houston's unlikely green success.
The municipal government's emissions are 38% lower than in 2007 and are expected to fall another 5% next year.
Houston three times-
The elected mayor is part of a steering committee of local leaders to address global climate change.
All this happens in a country where most political leaders do not believe climate change is human. -
Make it if they believe it.
Annis Parker was not surprised.
The outgoing mayor has always been a representative of Houston's green change.
Parker says the key to success is tailoring information for the audience.
When she tries to reduce Houston's carbon emissions, she seldom uses words like sustainability or climate change.
Instead, efficiency, savings, return on investment, and quality of life.
"Every time I talk to residents about why cities need to be greener, I talk about a bottom line," she said.
That conversation led to a lot of carbon emissions. -
Restoring Urban Projects-
Replace each of the city's 165,000 street lights with more efficient LED lights, then 21,000 traffic lights, the city's fleet with electric vehicles, and transform the city's buildings to get more energy. -efficient.
Houston expects to save $28 million（£18. 5m)
It's been 10 years since street lights were switched on and off, and three million dollars a year now from traffic lights.
For several years, the city has been the largest renewable energy city in the country. (
It's only recently surpassed by Dallas.
The purchase of wind power credit only accounts for more than 50% of the municipal government's electricity demand.
In 2015, Houston transformed its bus lines for the first time in 30 years, reducing emissions.
In November, the City Council approved it. -
An annual contract to buy electricity from a solar farm being built in Western Texas.
Laura Spanjian, a former director of sustainable development, said the city was expected to save $19 million as energy prices remained slightly higher than current traditional energy prices over the next 20 years.
Houston is politically divided, but in general, it tends to be more liberal than its state.
Nevertheless, this does not always translate into universal support for large environmental projects.
It's slowly changing. -
Part of the reason is that Houston is growing.
The city's universities, technology, biomedicine and hospitals bring young people to Houston and transplant people of all ages from the East and West Coasts.
Gavin Dillingham, a research scientist at the Houston Center for Advanced Studies, said that new immigrants "want a city to operate in a more sustainable and efficient way".
In order to attract and retain talents, cities are improving their quality. -of-life changes.
But many of these improvements-
Green space, improved air quality, able to work for three hours or more in traffic conditions-
At the same time, reduce carbon emissions.
Federico Marcos is the owner of a green restaurant chain in Houston and a solar installation company. He says many of his solar installation customers are employed by companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell.
Marcos said his clients were "somewhat proud" of helping the United States become independent from countries like Saudi Arabia.
But they don't mind $400 a month for energy bills either.
But growth also means an increase in potential carbon emissions.
Despite attempts to increase density and 3-
Line Light Rail System, Houston is still a sprawl, car-dependent city.
Its wastewater management system accounts for 50% of municipal energy use. -
Because the system transports water to so many families.
Texas is the largest energy emitter in the United States-
Relevant carbon emissions-
Twice as close as its nearest state rival, California.
Undoubtedly, Parker and other Houstonians described the situation as a "challenge".
Parker said, "As we grow up. . . There's a big chance. "
"On the other hand, there are more problems, because the degree of urbanization in the world is getting higher and higher. If we do not do well, cities will not work.
"Climate change activists are paying more and more attention to cities, because it is estimated that urban areas account for about 75% of global emissions.
Cities will also bear the brunt of plans to cope with more hot days, floods and storms, which are expected as world temperatures rise.
"Cities are first-class governments, and they have to work 24 hours a day, 24 hours a day," Parker said.
"In the city, we are not pragmatic about anything.
Sam Adams, head of the U. S. Climate Program at the World Resources Institute, says cities have taken control of many of their important contributors to carbon emissions. -
Construction Code, Local Infrastructure, Transportation and Land-use policies.
"I shouldn't paint it," said Adams, a former mayor of Portland, Oregon.
"When there is opposition from a state or state, the situation becomes even more difficult.
Adams said, "But it's a"wrong choice"to say that a city can improve both the environment and prosperity.
In Houston, the return on environmental investment is much higher. -
As gasoline prices fall, so do friendly projects.
But the first hope is that successful people will become businesses as usual.
"If you develop these projects correctly. . .
You can improve energy efficiency in any market, "Dillingham said.
Parker said Houston would make "tremendous progress" if the state legislature passed legislation to put pressure on local utilities, encourage solar power generation and sell surplus energy back to the grid.
This is unlikely to happen soon. -
Although environmental legislation has its advocates in Texas, it tends not to go too far.
The official platform of the Republican Party of Texas-
Control of state legislatures-
Climate change is "a political agenda that seeks to control all aspects of our lives".
Marcos's restaurant chain, Lagrange Green, calls itself "the greenest restaurant in Texas".
Some places have solar panels on their roofs.
All their lighting is done with LED.
They buy surplus electricity for wind power and most of their food from local farms.
When asked if it was difficult to run a green business in Texas, Marcos laughed.
"I don't know how Frank I should be. . . It's certainly not easy.
But ultimately, Marcos says, "If you give someone a convincing reason to do something better, they will understand that. "
He added many minor changes to his marketing campaign for a green restaurant to investors. -
A small fee is charged for biodegradable takeaway containers, and energy costs are reduced by installing LED bulbs. Then insurance costs are reduced because of the low frequency of replacing bulbs.
"We're a lab. We try all these things and see what works.
"I hope we'll be around eight or nine years old. [
Recovery of solar energy investment]
But most restaurants don't think so, "he said.
What have other cities in the United States done about climate change, but what happens when they take measures to combat climate change without saving money?
Violita Archer, president of Houston Renewable Energy Group, said that based on her experience, Houstonians were happy to have a dialogue on green projects. -
To a certain extent.
"When it comes to someone's work, you always encounter obstacles. . .
Once it begins to threaten or hinder the status of workers in the oil industry, it will stop.
Parker says the answer to this question is "really quantifying costs. "-
Determine what losses, loss of business or productivity a city will suffer if no changes are made.
The city is trying to use childhood asthma to quantify the impact of refineries on air quality.
Houston also discussed how to prevent hurricane surges from flooding residential areas and refineries.
Parts of the city have been flooded several times this year by heavy rains.
"When I am with you[Texas]
We don't discuss whether climate change is true or not. -Whether it's human or not?
Make it, "Parker said.
"We know that the water temperature is rising, and we know that the sea level is rising.
"What do we need? -
What are we going to do to respond?
"That's the balance that Sylvester Turner, Houston's next mayor, needs to learn fast.
Money can speak out, but it is the only option when there is little or no interest in dealing with climate change alone.