Transcript: David Miller: Can Cities Help Fix the Climate Crisis? | Oct 19, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and gray plaid tie.

A caption on screen reads "Can cities help fix the climate crisis? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says WE'VE OFTEN HEARD IT SAID: MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT IS THE LEVEL THAT'S CLOSEST TO THE PEOPLE. DOES THAT MAKE OUR CITIES UNIQUELY PLACED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? FORMER TORONTO MAYOR DAVID MILLER HAS DEVOTED MOST OF HIS POST-POLITICAL CAREER ENGAGED AT THE GLOBAL LEVEL WITH SUCH QUESTIONS. HE DISCUSSES IT IN HIS NEW BOOK CALLED "SOLVED: HOW THE WORLD'S GREAT CITIES ARE FIXING THE CLIMATE CRISIS." HE IS DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY AT C40 CITIES CLIMATE LEADERSHIP GROUP. AND DAVID MILLER JOINS US NOW FROM THE HIGH PARK AREA OF ONTARIO'S CAPITAL CITY...

David is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with short, wavy white hair. He's wearing a gray plaid tweed suit and a pale pink shirt.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover is white and pale blue.

Steve continues YOUR FORMER YOUR WORSHIP, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU ON OUR AIRWAVES AGAIN. HOW ARE YOU DOING?

David says THANKS VERY MUCH, STEVE. OBVIOUSLY VERY STRANGE TIMES FOR EVERYONE, BUT MY FAMILY AND I ARE HOLDING UP PRETTY WELL. IT'S GREAT BEING ON THE SHOW.

Steve says GLAD TO HEAR THAT. I DO WANT TO START WITH YOUR RATHER PROVOCATIVE TITLE WHICH YOU ACKNOWLEDGE IN THE EPILOGUE IS A BIT CHEEKY TO PUT OUT THERE. BUT WE KEEP HEARING EVERY DAY IF WE DON'T DO THIS AND IF WE DON'T DO THAT, WE'RE GOING TO LOSE THE WORLD TO CLIMATE CHANGE, AND YOU TITLE A BOOK CALLED SOLVED WITH A CHECK MARK THROUGH THE 0, WHAT ARE YOU GETTING AT THERE?

The caption changes to "David Miller. Author, 'Solved.'"
Then, it changes again to "Lessons from a pandemic."

David says WHAT I'M GETTING AT IS MOST OF THE WORLD'S CARBON EMISSIONS ARE IN CITIES AND AMONGST THE BIGGEST CITIES OF THE WORLD, THERE ARE REAL SOLUTIONS HAPPENING TODAY, NOT WAITING FOR NEW INVENTIONS BUT ACTUALLY HAPPENING TODAY, THAT IF WE DID AT SCALE QUICKLY ACROSS MOST CITIES, WE WOULD GET THE WORLD BACK ON PATH BY 2030, TO DO WHAT'S NECESSARY. SO FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE, THE SOLUTIONS ARE THERE. WE JUST NEED TO DO THEM. AND THAT'S WHY I SAID THE CRISIS CAN BE SOLVED IN CITIES BECAUSE THOSE SOLUTIONS ARE THERE. THEY'RE REAL. THEY'RE AFFORDABLE. THEY'RE NOT IMAGINARY. THEY'RE NOT WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO BE INVENTED. WE JUST NEED TO DO MUCH, MUCH MORE OF IT VERY QUICKLY.

Steve says SOMEBODY NOTED MANY MONTHS AGO THAT IF YOU LOOK IN THE SKIES OF THE BIG CITIES ALL AROUND THE WORLD, THEY WERE CERTAINLY MUCH CLEANER WHEN WE WERE ALL SORT OF CONFINED TO QUARTERS DURING THE EARLY PART OF THIS PANDEMIC. NOW, YOU KNOW, NOBODY WANTS TO SAY THANK GOODNESS FOR THE PANDEMIC BECAUSE IT BROUGHT US CLEANER SKIES, BUT CLEARLY THERE SEEMED TO BE A PATH FORWARD THERE IF WE COULD ADOPT ON A MORE PERMANENT BASIS SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE SEEM TO HAVE FIGURED OUT IN THE SHORT RUN. WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO KEEP THE GOOD THINGS ABOUT THE LAST SEVEN MONTHS WITH US GOING FORWARD THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THE REQUIREMENT?

The caption changes to "David Miller, @iamdavidmiller."

David says YES, IT'S A REALLY INTERESTING POINT. I MEAN, THE PANDEMIC HAS BEEN A TERRIBLE LOSS OF LIFE AND EXTREMELY DIFFICULT ECONOMICALLY. BUT WE'VE ALSO SEEN SOME REALLY RAPID ACTIONS FROM A LOT OF CITIES, ONTARIO CITIES AND CITIES GLOBALLY, TO ADDRESS UNRELENTING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND ALSO SOCIAL ISSUES WHICH HAVE BECOME SO APPARENT. SO FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, THE FIRST THING IT WOULD TAKE TO BUILD ON WHAT WE'VE SEEN WORKS IN RESPONSE TO THIS GLOBAL CRISIS IS LEADERSHIP. SECONDLY, SOME MONEY. AND I THINK IF YOU COMBINE THOSE TWO THINGS, AND BY LEADERSHIP I MEAN FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF SOME OF THE BEST CITIES IN THE WORLD, YOU COULD MAKE SOME REALLY RAPID STRIDES, NOT JUST TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE, BUT ALSO TO MAKE OUR CITIES BETTER PLACES TO LIVE.

Steve says WELL, LET'S NAME NAMES. WHO DO YOU LIKE IN TERMS OF LEADERSHIP AND IN WHAT CITIES?

The caption changes to "David Miller. C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group."

David says WELL, I THINK WHAT WE'VE SEEN IN LISBON, PORTUGAL, FOR EXAMPLE, MAYOR MEDINA IS QUITE REMARKABLE. WHAT THEY'VE ESSENTIALLY DONE IS FROM AN ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE AND FROM A SOCIAL PERSPECTIVE, THE PANDEMIC HAS SHOWED US THAT HOUSING IS VERY UNAFFORDABLE. PEOPLE IN LOW INCOME JOBS OFTEN HAVE TO LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE CITY, AND WE'VE OF COURSE SEEN THAT THE AIR IS MUCH CLEANER WHEN EVERYBODY IS NOT DRIVING TO WORK. SO THEY HAVE REPURPOSED SHORT-TERM RENTAL HOUSING, I.E. AIRBNB, AS LONG-TERM RENTAL HOUSING AND THE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZES IT TO MAKE IT AFFORDABLE FOR LOW INCOME PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY MOVE BACK INTO THE CITY. THAT'S A TREMENDOUS CHANGE, RESPONDING TO A CHALLENGE THAT ALL NORTH AMERICAN CITIES CERTAINLY ARE FACING, OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING WHILE HAVING HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS. WE'VE SEEN MEDELLIN IN COLOMBIA ACTUALLY STARTING TO BUILD NEW RAPID TRANSIT AS A RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC, WHICH IS A LITTLE BIT COUNTERINTUITIVE, BECAUSE WE SEE TRANSIT RIDERSHIP DROPPING. BUT IN FACT IF YOU WANT TO ENSURE THAT PUBLIC TRANSIT IS SAFE, YOU NEED MORE OF IT, NOT LESS. AND THEY'RE SHOWING THE WAY BY LEADING ON THAT. AND THEN WE'VE SEEN A WHOLE RANGE OF CITIES, UNDERSTANDING THAT AS WHITE COLLAR WORKERS WORK FROM HOME, YOU NEED TO THINK OF THE CITY AS A MUCH MORE NEIGHBORHOOD-BASED PLACE, AND THERE'S THIS IDEA OF THE 15-MINUTE CITY, ENSURING THAT PEOPLE CAN WALK AND CYCLE AND HAVE THE SERVICES THEY NEED IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD, AND A WHOLE RANGE OF CITIES HAVE REPURPOSED ROADS IN FAVOUR OF ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION, PEOPLE WALKING AND CYCLING. ALL OF THOSE THINGS AND MUCH MORE ARE HAPPENING AT A SPEED WE'VE NEVER HAVE THOUGHT POSSIBLE, BUT BECAUSE THEY'RE NECESSARY TO RESPOND TO THE PANDEMIC, MAYORS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO THEM VERY QUICKLY?

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says ANY MAYORS OF ANY ONTARIO CITIES THAT ARE CATCHING YOUR FANCY?

David says WELL, I THINK, YOU KNOW, THIS IS A REALLY TOUGH MOMENT FOR MAYORS, AND I APPLAUD MAYOR WATSON, MAYOR EISENBERGER, AND OUR OWN MAYOR IN TORONTO, MAYOR TORY, FOR THEIR EFFORTS... SO FAR. JUST TO RESPOND. BUT I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO THINK IN ONTARIO AT THE MOMENT IS, WHAT CAN WE DO NEXT TO TAKE THE STIMULUS MONEY THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN, STEER THE FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS TO MAKE INVESTMENTS THAT WILL ENSURE THAT WE DON'T JUST DEAL WITH THE PANDEMIC, THAT WE DEAL WITH THE CLIMATE CRISIS AS WELL, BECAUSE THERE'S NO POINT IN FIXING ONE PROBLEM TO CREATE ANOTHER ONE. SO WE REALLY NEED TO SEE INVESTMENTS IN THE AREAS THAT ARE GOING TO PRODUCE BETTER PLACES TO LIVE AND ALSO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES. AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT IN CITIES, WE KNOW WHAT THOSE AREAS ARE, VERY CLEAR WHAT THEY ARE, AND IT'S CLEAR SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ADDRESS BOTH PROBLEMS OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND INEQUITY.

The caption changes to "Budgeting for climate change."

Steve says I KNOW YOU SAID THIS IN THE BOOK, THAT YOU GET ASKED THIS ALL THE TIME, AND SO I KIND OF DON'T WANT TO ASK IT, ON THE ONE HAND, BECAUSE YOU'RE EXPECTING IT. ON THE OTHER HAND, I DON'T WANT TO DISAPPOINT YOU BY NOT ASKING IT BECAUSE YOU ARE EXPECTING IT. BUT, OKAY, HERE WE GO. EVERYONE ASSUMES THAT BECAUSE THE ISSUE IS CLIMATE CHANGE THAT IT REQUIRES COUNTRIES, IF NOT INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, TO GET TOGETHER TO SOLVE THIS, AND AT FIRST BLUSH YOU MIGHT NOT THINK THE SOLUTIONS ARE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, AND OBVIOUSLY THIS BOOK IS DESIGNED TO REFUTE THAT ARGUMENT. BUT WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE WHO THINK, YOU KNOW, WE CAN'T DO ANYTHING ON A SMALLER SCALE. THIS HAS SURELY GOT TO BE THE BIGGER PLAYERS WHO ARE GOING TO RESOLVE THIS THING.

David says WELL, WHAT I SAY TO PEOPLE IS, THE GOOD NEWS IS, YOU'RE WRONG. PROBABLY ISN'T THE BEST WAY TO PUT IT. BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THERE ARE... NOT ONLY ARE THERE REAL SOLUTIONS IN CITIES, IN A WAY THEY HAVE TO COME FROM CITIES. YOU KNOW, STUDIES BY THE C40 CITIES CLIMATE LEADERSHIP GROUP WHO I WORK WITH AT THE MOMENT SHOW THAT ABOUT 70 percent OF THE WORLD'S GREENHOUSE GASES CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO CITIES, AND THOSE ARE IN FOUR AREAS, REALLY. HOW WE HEAT AND COOL OUR BUILDINGS, TRANSPORTATION, HOW WE MANAGE OUR WASTE, AND HOW WE GENERATE OUR ELECTRICITY. THE GOOD NEWS IN ONTARIO IS THAT OUR ELECTRICITY GRID IS MOSTLY CLEAN, THANKS TO THE EFFORTS OF THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS, AND THAT'S GOOD IN THIS PROVINCE. BUT IN CITIES, YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL COMBINATION OF HAVING THE POWERS TO ADDRESS TRANSPORTATION, HOW WE HEAT AND COOL BUILDINGS, HOW WE MANAGE OUR WASTE. SOME GREAT EXAMPLES GLOBALLY OF HOW TO DO IT... AND ALSO KIND OF WHAT I WOULD SEE IS A BIT OF MAGIC, YOU KNOW? CITIES IN ONTARIO, AND TOWNS, HAVE DIRECTLY ELECTED COUNCILS AND MAYORS. THEY ARE ALSO PLACES WHERE INSTITUTIONALLY THE GOVERNMENTS ARE USED TO WORKING WITH PEOPLE AND LISTENING TO THEM. NOT JUST BECAUSE IT'S A HABIT, BECAUSE LEGALLY THEY HAVE TO. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN YOU'RE DOING DEVELOPMENT APPLICATIONS. THERE'S A REALLY STRUCTURAL PROCESS OF ENGAGING WITH CITIZENS. AND MOST PEOPLE WANT ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE. SO YOU'VE GOT THIS MAGIC COMBINATION OF POSSIBILITIES TO ACT WITHIN THOSE AREAS, WITHIN LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND ALSO ABLE TO INFLUENCE OTHER ACTORS, LIKE OTHER GOVERNMENTS AND ALSO BUSINESS AND OTHERS. AND SECONDLY THIS WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY TO WORK DIRECTLY WITH PEOPLE. AND AT A TIME WHEN PEOPLE INCREASINGLY WANT ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE, THAT MEANS CITY GOVERNMENTS ARE EMPOWERED BY THEIR RESIDENTS, PLUS THEY HAVE THE TOOLS. AND THAT COMBINATION IS UNIQUE. IT'S VERY DIFFERENT THAN FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS WHO CAN MAKE POLICIES BUT ARE MUCH LESS DIRECT AND DON'T HAVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ACTION THE SAME WAY CITY GOVERNMENTS DO. CITY GOVERNMENTS HAVE TO ACT. THEY CAN'T JUST TALK. THEY HAVE TO ACT. AND PEOPLE EXPECT THAT.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says LET'S DO A QUOTE FROM THE BOOK HERE.
You say by replicating the best and most effective ideas already implemented in at least one city. And by doing so at a scale and pace internationally we can make a significant leap forward mitigating green house emissions and put the world on a path to 1.5 degrees.
NOW THAT 1.5 degrees IS A REFERENCE TO WHAT?

David says 1.5 degrees IS A REFERENCE TO WHAT SCIENCE SHOWS IS NECESSARY TO KEEP GLOBAL HEATING BELOW. SO PEOPLE PROBABLY REMEMBER FIVE YEARS AGO THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD GOT TOGETHER IN PARIS AND REACHED AGREEMENTS. WHAT THEY SAID IN THAT AGREEMENT WAS, WE ABSOLUTELY MUST KEEP GLOBAL HEATING BELOW 2 degrees, BUT OUR HIGHER AMBITION, WHICH CANADA LED THE CHARGE FOR THIS, BY THE WAY, IS 1.5 degrees. IT'S BECOME CLEAR SINCE THEN THAT SCIENCE REQUIRES US TO KEEP GLOBAL HEATING WITHIN 1.5 degrees. AND WHAT THAT MEANS PRACTICALLY IS BASICALLY THE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS OF THE WORLD HAVE TO BE CUT BY 50 percent BY 2030... IT'S A HUGE AMOUNT, 50 percent... ON A PATH TO CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2050. MORE OR LESS THAT'S WHAT SCIENCE SAYS WE NEED TO DO, AND THAT'S THE BASIS OF THE BOOK, IS SCIENCE.

Steve says LET'S LOOK AT SOME OF THOSE BUCKETS, THOSE FOUR BUCKETS THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, TRANSPORTATION BEING ONE OF THEM. AND I NOTE THAT A YEAR AGO... OR SO... THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WAS GOING TO UNVEIL, I THINK IT WAS 28.5 BILLION DOLLAR PUBLIC TRANSIT INFRASTRUCTURE BUILD. DO I INFER FROM THAT THAT YOU'RE HAPPY AND ON SIDE WITH THAT MOVE?

The caption changes to "Building on Ontario's successes."

David says WELL, I THINK BUILDING ANY PUBLIC TRANSIT IS VERY GOOD. BUT WHAT THE BEST CITIES SHOW ARE A FEW THINGS. FIRST OF ALL, CITIES NEED A NETWORK OF PUBLIC TRANSIT, NOT JUST A LINE OR TWO. SO IN TORONTO'S CASE, THERE'S BEEN A DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER WE SHOULD HAVE SUBWAYS OR USE THE MONEY FOR OTHER THINGS. SO I THINK THE KEY IS TO BUILD A NETWORK... OTTAWA'S DONE THIS VERY WELL THROUGH BUS RAPID TRANSIT. WE'VE SEEN IT IN KIRIBATI... WHEN I WAS IN OFFICE THE PLAN WAS TO HAVE AN ENTIRE NETWORK OF LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, WHICH MEANS AT GRADE. SO IT'S MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE THAN BUILDING A SUBWAY AND YOU CAN BUILD MUCH MORE OF IT. THAT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE PEOPLE NEED AN ALTERNATIVE THAT'S RELIABLE NO MATTER WHERE THEY GO IF THEY'RE GOING TO GET OUT OF THEIR CARS AND USE TRANSIT. SO THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT. SECONDLY, IT NEEDS TO BE ELECTRIC BASED, PARTICULARLY IN PLACES LIKE ONTARIO THAT HAVE A CLEAN GRID. YOU NEED TO MOVE PUBLIC TRANSPORT FROM DIESEL OR GAS TO ELECTRIC, SO YOU MOVE PEOPLE OUT OF CARS ONTO PUBLIC TRANSIT, ELECTRIFY IT, AND THAT BRINGS UP THE ISSUE OF BUSES. SO TORONTO RIGHT NOW IS TESTING 60 ELECTRIC BUSES. IT'S A PILOT PROJECT TO MAKE SURE THE BATTERIES WORK. WHILE WE'RE DOING THAT AND WHILE WE'VE BEEN DISCUSSING IT OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, A CITY IN CHINA HAS ELECTRIFIED ITS ENTIRE BUS FLEET, WHICH IS ABOUT 16,000 BUSES, AND THEY'VE USED THAT PROCESS TO CREATE A WHOLE NEW INDUSTRY. THEY'RE THE WORLD'S LEADING MANUFACTURER OF ELECTRIC BUSES WHICH IS IN CHINA. THEIR TAXI FLEET IS EITHER ELECTRIC OR IF IT'S NOT THERE YET IT'S ON ITS WAY TO BEING ALL-ELECTRIC. THESE ARE THINGS TO THINK ABOUT FROM A CITY PERSPECTIVE. YOU KNOW, OUR FLEETS, CANADA POST FLEET, PUROLATOR, OTHER COURIERS, ARE THEY CLEAN AND ELECTRIC? AND THE ANSWER AT THE MOMENT IS NO. THEY CAN BE. NEW YORK CITY'S OWN FLEET OF VEHICLES HAS SOMETHING LIKE 12,000 ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN ITS FLEET. THAT IS POSSIBLE TODAY. SO WHAT WE NEED TO SEE IS, FIRST OF ALL, PUBLIC TRANSIT NETWORK BUILT RAPIDLY. WE NEED TO SEE THAT BEING ELECTRIFIED. AND THEN WE NEED TO SEE OTHER VEHICLES, STARTING WITH FLEETS, BECAUSE THEY'RE THE EASIEST. YOU CAN CHARGE THEM CENTRALLY, MOVE RAPIDLY TO ELECTRIC. THAT'S ALL POSSIBLE ON TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY. AND ONCE YOU START DOING THAT, YOU WOULD HAVE THE IMPACT, PARTICULARLY IN THE CHARGING FACILITIES ARE MAKING IT MUCH EASIER FOR PRIVATE VEHICLE OWNERS TO EITHER TAKE TRANSIT, WALK OR CYCLE, OR MOVE TO ELECTRIC IF THEY STILL NEED TO DRIVE.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT SO-CALLED ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION, CYCLING, WALKING? WHAT CITIES IN THE WORLD ARE DOING THIS WELL AND WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THEM?

David says WELL, I THINK THE BIG LESSON IS, IF YOU BUILD A CITY IN A WAY THAT DOESN'T FORCE PEOPLE TO DRIVE... SO THINK ABOUT NEW YORK OR BERLIN OR THE CORE OF TORONTO, FOR THAT MATTER, OR A LOT OF OTTAWA IS BUILT IN A WAY THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO DRIVE EVEN THOUGH IT'S KIND OF SPREAD OUT, AS OPPOSED TO CITIES LIKE HOUSTON WHERE YOU'RE SORT OF VIRTUALLY COMPELLED TO DRIVE. PEOPLE THEN HAVE THE CHOICE NOT TO DRIVE. AND PEOPLE TEND TO TAKE IT. SO ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THAT. SO IF YOU THINK ABOUT A CITY GROWING IN THE FUTURE, COMING OUT OF THE PANDEMIC, ONE OF THE BIG NEEDS THAT WE'VE SEEN IN THE PANDEMIC IS AFFORDABLE HOUSING. SO CAN YOU BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN A WAY THAT'S NEIGHBORHOOD-BASED AND ALLOW PEOPLE TO WALK OR CYCLE TO THEIR DAILY NEEDS: THEIR WORK, BUYING FOOD. YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN FORCED TO DO IT IN THE PANDEMIC. WE'VE SEEN CITIES REALLY JUMP AHEAD. PARIS, FOR EXAMPLE, UNDER THE MAYOR IS REALLY AGGRESSIVE IN REPURPOSING ROADS FROM CARS TO PEOPLE, WALKING AND CYCLING. AND THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO MUCH MORE OF IT IN THE PANDEMIC BECAUSE IT'S BEEN ESSENTIAL BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WORKING FROM HOME. THAT'S A CHANGE, COMBINED WITH SORT OF FUTURE CITY PLANNING, THE THINKING OF HOW YOUR CITY OR TOWN... THIS APPLIES TO ANY MUNICIPALITY, THAT'S GOING TO GROW IN THE NEXT FIVE TO TEN YEARS, THAT MAKES IT MORE LIVABLE, HEALTH OUTCOMES MUCH BETTER, BECAUSE WALKING AND CYCLING PROMOTES HEALTH, AND THE AIR IS CLEANER. AND IT'S A WIN FOR EVERYBODY. AND WHAT WE'VE SEEN OVER THE LAST YEAR IS TREMENDOUS STRIDES. IN TORONTO, THEY'VE BUILT BIKE LANES OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS LONGER THAN THEY'VE BUILT IN THE LAST DECADE. AND THEY'RE PACKED. PEOPLE LOVE IT. PEOPLE ARE THERE BECAUSE IT'S SAFE. THEY'RE RESERVED PROTECTED BIKE LANES RIGHT ACROSS THE EAST-WEST ARTERY OF TORONTO. I RODE THEM ON SUNDAY BETWEEN BLOOR AND DANFORTH. THAT HAS A POSITIVE SPIN AND PROVIDES AN EASY WAY FOR PEOPLE TO TRANSPORT THEMSELVES AROUND A CITY WITHOUT POLLUTING.

Steve says LET'S LOOK AT A SECOND OF THOSE FOUR BUCKETS THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, THIS TIME WASTE DISPOSAL. WE SEEM TO BE A VERY DISPOSABLE SOCIETY. YOU KNOW, BUY SINGLE-USE PLASTIC STUFF. THROW IT OUT RIGHT AWAY. YOU TELL US IN THE BOOK SAN FRANCISCO LEADS THE WAY IN DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. WHAT ARE THEY DOING?

David says WELL, WHAT SAN FRANCISCO DID IS, FIRST OF ALL, GET WAY AHEAD OF EVERYBODY ELSE, ENSURING THAT YOU HAD BASICALLY WHAT WE HAVE AS A GREEN PROGRAM, BLUE BOX. COMPOSTING IS CRITICAL FROM A CLIMATE CHANGE PERSPECTIVE BECAUSE IF YOU ALLOWED FOOD TO DECOMPOSE IN A LANDFILL, METHANE WILL ESCAPE TO THE ATMOSPHERE. IT'S EXTREMELY BAD FROM THE CLIMATE CHANGE PERSPECTIVE. THEN ALSO RESTRICT VERY SIGNIFICANTLY SINGLE USE PRODUCTS, INCLUDING SINGLE-USE PLASTICS. SO THAT'S THE STATE-OF-THE-ART TODAY. ONTARIO, YOU KNOW, WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF WHERE WE ARE IN ONTARIO. WE WERE EARLY ADVOCATES OF RECYCLING WITH THE BLUE BOX. TORONTO WAS AN EARLY ADVOCATE OF THE GREEN BIN, PLACES LIKE GUELPH AND HALIFAX, FOR THAT MATTER, BEEN WELL AHEAD OF THE CURVE. THIS IS THE PLACE THAT'S MORE ADVANCED, IT'S NOT AS OFF THE SHELF, IS TRYING TO THINK ABOUT OUR ECONOMY IN A MORE CIRCULAR ECONOMY WAY. WE'RE SEEING PORTLAND, OREGON, CREATE SOME PILOT PROJECTS PARTICULARLY AROUND FOOD. STEVE, PEOPLE WILL SEE ME AS THE FORMER MAYOR OF TORONTO. I GREW UP IN A SMALL ENGLISH VILLAGE AND IMMIGRATED TO CANADA WHEN I WAS 8, JUST TURNING 9. AND OUR VILLAGE, EVERYBODY HAD A LITTLE GARDEN. AND WE ALL HAD A COMPOST HEAP. WE GREW OUR OWN VEGETABLES AND WE ATE THEM WHEN THEY WERE FRESH AND THEY WERE FANTASTIC. I CAN STILL TASTE FRESH POTATOES OUT OF MY GRANDFATHER'S GARDEN WITH FRESH MINT. THEY WERE JUST WONDERFUL. AND THAT KIND OF CIRCULARITY WE HAVE GOTTEN AWAY FROM. SAN FRANCISCO IS STATE-OF-THE-ART TODAY. ONTARIO, I THINK WE SHOULD BE PLEASED THAT WE'RE KIND OF A B-PLUS, BUT WE NEED TO GET TO AN "A" AND DRAMATICALLY REDUCE THE WASTE THAT WE PRODUCE IN THE FIRST PLACE. YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN TO PUBLIC MEETINGS WHERE PEOPLE HAVE RANTED ABOUT ALL THE UNNECESSARY PACKAGING. THAT IS THE THING, IT TRULY IS UNNECESSARY, AND WE NEED TO MOVE AWAY FROM THAT AS A SOCIETY, AND I THINK THAT'S GOING TO TAKE GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP. THE SAME WAY THAT WE SAW PESTICIDE BANS FROM HUDSON, QUEBEC, TO ONTARIO. WE NEED EXPERIMENTAL IDEAS ABOUT ELIMINATING UNNECESSARYPACKAGING AND OTHER WASTE AND MOVING MORE TOWARDS CIRCULARITY. IF YOU WANT TO SAVE THE PLANET, IT INCLUDES STOPPING BIG ISLANDS OF PLASTIC IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN. WE NEED TO MOVE THERE AND MOVE THERE QUICKLY.

Steve says I DO WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON THAT RATHER LOVELY CHILDHOOD MEMORY OF YOURS. WE LIVE IN A CAPITAL CITY HERE WHERE I THINK HALF THE PEOPLE LIVE IN EITHER CONDOS OR APARTMENTS. ARE YOU SAYING THAT THEY CAN GROW THEIR OWN VEGETABLES?

David says ABSOLUTELY, ACTUALLY. IT'S NOT JUST ALLOTMENTS. THERE'S LOTS THAT CAN BE DONE ON BALCONIES, PARTICULARLY SMALL TOMATO PLANTS. AND PERHAPS IT SOUNDS ODD GIVEN THE GRAVITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE. BUT WE DO NEED TO THINK ABOUT CHANGING THE WAY WE CONSUME AND THE WAY OUR ECONOMY WORKS IN A WAY THAT SUPPORTS PEOPLE. QUEZON CITY, AS A RESULT OF THE PANDEMIC, THEIR BIGGEST CONCERN WAS GETTING FOOD TO PEOPLE SO THEY REPURPOSED INDUSTRIAL LAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY FOR FOOD. AND IT'S NOT JUST PEOPLE ON BALCONIES. I MEAN, NOT EVERYBODY CAN HAVE A BIG ENOUGH PLACE TO GROW SOME FOOD. BUT YOU CAN GROW FOOD IN THE CITY. MONTREAL IS DOING IT, BRONX... SORRY, BROOKLYN IN NEW YORK, VERY SIGNIFICANT WAREHOUSES WITH HYDROPONICS. SO WE CAN CHANGE OUR SYSTEMS QUITE SIGNIFICANTLY BASED ON WHAT'S HAPPENING SOMEWHERE. AND, AGAIN, THIS IS THE GIFT OF THE CITIES. THEY'RE EXPERIMENTAL. THEY HAVE INTERESTING IDEAS. ONCE CITIES SEE THAT THEY WORK, THEY SPREAD LIKE RAPID FIRE. THE IDEA OF RENTAL BIKES. THAT BASICALLY STARTED AS AN IDEA OF THE PREVIOUS MAYOR OF PARIS, THE MAYOR OF MONTREAL SAW IT, DECIDED THEY'D MANUFACTURE BIKES, MANUFACTURED BY THE PARKING THAT IS RIGHT, THEN SPREAD TO NEW YORK AND LONDON, ENGLAND, AND ELSEWHERE, AND NOW THEY'RE ALL OVER THE WORLD. AND THAT STARTED BECAUSE OF A GOOD IDEA IN ONE CITY TOOK PLACE. AND THAT'S THE GIFT OF WHAT HAPPENS WITH CITY GOVERNMENTS AND THE INTERESTING THING IS IT APPLIES TO BIG CITIES, MEDIUM CITIES, AND SMALL TOWNS AS WELL. YOU CAN MAKE BETTER BUILDINGS. YOU CAN MAKE CLEANER TRANSPORTATION. YOU CAN MAKE LESS WASTE OR FIND WAYS TO CREATE A MORE CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN A SMALL TOWN AS WELL AS A BIG CITY. AND YOU JUST NEED TO LOOK TO THE IDEAS AND DO THEM.

Steve says WITH JUST A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO GO HERE, I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT WHAT POLITICS ALLOWS TO BE POSSIBLE ON ALL OF THESE ISSUES THAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT? WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE THE KINDS OF TIME IN OFFICE LIKE A VLADIMIR PUTIN OR A LUKASHENKO IN BELARUS DOES. WHEN WE HAVE IN THE DEMOCRATIC WEST ELECTIONS THAT REPLACE POLITICIANS ON A FAIRLY REGULAR BASIS, CAN YOU HAVE THE KIND OF SUSTAINED POLITICAL LEADERSHIP IN PLACE THAT CAN GET YOU TO THE FINISH LINE THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE? I TAKE YOUR POINT ABOUT THE CHINESE DOING ALL THE WONDERFUL THINGS THEY'RE DOING. THEY'RE AN AUTHORITARIAN DICTATORSHIP. THE GUY THERE HAS BEEN THERE FOR A DECADE, WILL BE FOR ANOTHER DECADE. IT'S KIND OF EASY WHEN YOU'RE THE KING FOREVER, ISN'T IT?

The caption changes to "How to guarantee a liveable city."

David says WELL, I MEAN, YES TO CHINA. BUT THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE ELECTRIFIED THEIR TRANSPORTATION FLEET IN MAJOR CITIES IN CHINA SHOULD BE A LESSON TO WHAT'S POSSIBLE. I THINK TO YOUR BROADER POINT, STEVE, THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THAT'S A BIG ISSUE, AND TO ME IT ACTUALLY COMES BACK TO US AS VOTERS IN THE END. BUT CITIES ARE POSITIONED VERY WELL TO HAVE A [indiscernible] LEGACY. AND I THINK ULTIMATELY IF WE AS VOTERS PAY ATTENTION... YOU KNOW, WHEN I BROUGHT A CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN TO CITY COUNCIL, IT PASSED UNANIMOUSLY. AND THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN IN A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM, IN A CITY COUNCIL, UNLESS PEOPLE ARE SPEAKING UP AND SAYING WE WANT YOU TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE. BECAUSE OTHERWISE SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE WOULD OPPOSE IT, ONE OF THE COUNCILLORS. AND I THINK... SO IF PEOPLE CONTINUE TO SPEAK UP AND CARE ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, WE'RE GOING TO SEE A CONTINUITY OF POLICIES. YOU KNOW, WHEN I LEFT OFFICE QUITE FAMOUSLY, PREMIER McGUINTY STOPPED ONE LRT LINE AND MY SUCCESSOR IN OFFICE STOPPED ANOTHER ONE. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? THE THIRD ONE, THE EGLINTON LRT, IS STILL UNDERWAY. THE ONE THAT PREMIER McGUINTY STOPPED IS LIKELY TO GET BUILT. THE OTHER ONE MAY BE. IT'S STILL HAPPENING. WHY? FIRST OF ALL, BECAUSE IT WAS BASED ON FACTS. SECONDLY, BECAUSE THERE'S A NEED. THIRDLY, BECAUSE PEOPLE IN TORONTO RECOGNIZE THAT THEY WANT BETTER TRANSPORTATION. IT COULD BE EXPRESSED DIFFERENTLY AND WE'VE SEEN DIFFERENT PLAYERS. BUT PEOPLE ARE PUSHING AND PUSHING. AND THE CITY... THE INSTITUTIONS OF CITY GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS SOME CONTINUITY BECAUSE THEY ENGAGE PEOPLE REGULARLY THROUGH THEIR SYSTEMS, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER. AND I THINK THAT GIVES US A HOPE. NOTHING'S PERFECT. BUT IF PEOPLE SPEAK UP, THE INSTITUTIONS OF CITIES ARE REASONABLY LIKELY TO KEEP GOOD PLANS GOING. AND IF THEY WEREN'T GOOD PLANS, THEY SHOULDN'T BE KEPT GOING IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO I THINK THERE'S A REAL CHANCE AND I'M HOPING IF PEOPLE LEARN WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MANY CITIES AROUND THE WORLD FROM MY BOOK AND OTHER SOUCES, THEY'LL SAY TO THEIR CITY GOVERNMENT AND THEIR TOWN GOVERNMENT, WE WANT MORE OF THIS, WE WANT TO LIVE IN A PLACE THAT'S CONTRIBUTING TO SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF CLIMATE CHANGE BECAUSE WE KNOW WE CAN AND THAT MAKES US AS A RESIDENT OF THIS CITY HAPPY, AND THAT'LL MAKE US VOTE FOR YOU FOR RE-ELECTION.

The caption changes to "Producer: Carla Lucchetta, @carrletta."

Steve says THAT'S THE 63RD MAYOR OF ONTARIO'S CAPITAL CITY DAVID MILLER, WHO'S LATEST ENTRY INTO THIS FIELD IS CALLED "SOLVED: HOW THE WORLD'S GREAT CITIES ARE FIXING THE CLIMATE CRISIS." DAVID MILLER IT'S ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON TVO, YOU GIVE US LOTS TO THINK ABOUT, WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR TIME THANKS SO MUCH.

David says THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON STEVE.

Watch: David Miller: Can Cities Help Fix the Climate Crisis?