Latching onto increasing international attention for the District’s environmental initiatives, city leaders and activists are gearing up to participate in next week’s World Environment Day.
In January, Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) announced that the leaders of the U.N. Environment Programme had designated the District as the North American host city for the June 5 event.
The annual event is designed to showcase sustainability efforts and advances in green technology with events across the globe. This year, the main conference of world political, business and environmental leaders will be in Rio de Janeiro .
In the District, city and federal leaders have scheduled a week of seminars and demonstrations to mark the occasion.
On Sunday and Monday, the city will turn the Wilson High School athletic field into a free fair and environmental expo featuring music and more than 100 exhibits, including “green catering,” health screenings, smart cars, “live falcons and hawks” and other attractions. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.
On Wednesday, several panel discussions will be held at the National Press Club, including on sustainability issues facing cities.
In addition to recent local sustainability initiatives such as CapitalBikeshare, Gray announced a 20-year vision for the District last month that includes stringent new environmental standards, more urban farms and green roofs, a renewed effort to clean up the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and a 50 percent reduction in energy consumption and fossil fuel use by 2030.