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Buffaloe to travel to Dubai for global climate summit

Mayor Barbara Buffaloe speaks at Boone County Courthouse Plaza in Columbia.
Cara Penquite
Columbia Missourian
Mayor Barbara Buffaloe is travelling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to participate in the United Nations' 28th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Mayor Barbara Buffaloe will travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Thursday to participate in a United Nations climate conference to discuss climate change and its impacts on the world.

Hosted by the United Nations, the 28th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP28, is a two-week global annual summit bringing together world leaders to discuss climate issues.

Buffaloe will be one of six mayors traveling to Dubai as part of a U.S. Conference of Mayors delegation. She will attend the conference from Thursday through Dec. 8.

“It’s important … especially as a mayor of a midsize community that has put out goals about wanting to reduce our impact on climate change, it’s important to go out and find out what’s happening,” Buffaloe said. “But also to hear the conversation about the national and subnational levels about how this cooperation is working and how we can be a part of (it).”

The mayor is expected to participate in several panels about climate change, according to a city news release.

She will discuss the role cities play in reducing emissions, the impacts of extreme heat on vulnerable populations and the steps local leaders can take to mitigate these concerns. Buffaloe serves as chair of the committee on environment for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

As part of a roundtable planned at the conference, Buffaloe will discuss Columbia’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP), the city’s initiative to address risks posed by climate change — including reducing greenhouse gas emissions citywide — passed in 2019.

Buffaloe said that since the implementation of the program Columbia has seen “incremental reductions” in its greenhouse gas emissions.

“In August, we received our latest report from greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the interim report from our Climate and Environment Commission, and it shows that some of this progress we are seeing it,” Buffaloe said. She added that to achieve considerable progress, a collective effort is needed from all levels of government.

“That’s why being a part of these conversations (at COP28) can help move some of that action forward that we rely on to meet our goals,” she said.

The summit, which attracts leaders from 198 countries, is designed to bring together a range of stakeholders, including from all levels of government, youth, business leaders and investors, according to the conference’s website. The first conference was held in Berlin in 1995.

Separately, the White House said that President Joe Biden will not be traveling to the conference this year, according to the Associated Press. Biden has attended the previous two meetings.

While Buffaloe is away, Fourth Ward Councilperson Nick Foster will act as mayor. He was named mayor pro tempore at a council meeting Monday following the resignation of Second Ward Councilperson Andrea Waner, the previous mayor pro tem.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.
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