For the third year in a row, the United Nations convenes a conference on climate change today - this year in Cancun. Los Angeles is among the cities will monitor the proceedings.
Nations sign treaties and U.N. agreements. But local leaders replace streetlights, manage water and power, cart away waste and tell government offices to use paper on both sides.
Those local leaders like to point out that two previous two climate conferences, in Poznan and Copenhagen, didn't yield much. In advance of this year's third U.N. climate conference in Cancun, 134 mayors met in Mexico City and signed a voluntary pact to seek measurable, reportable and verifiable cuts in carbon that contributes to global warming.
They've done this before. The idea is to pressure international leaders in Cancun to come up with something new.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was one of those mayors. He called attention to L.A.'s work – putting LED bulbs in street lamps and banning older, dirtier diesel trucks at the port.
Those projects have been in place for years. Villaraigosa also noted a newer goal: making L.A. the electric vehicle capital of the United States by the end of next year.