C40 Summit Video Blog Series: Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver on how cities can drive change with data

*Editor’s note: In partnership with the City of Johannesburg we conducted a series of video interviews with mayors, leading sustainability officials and partner thought leaders during the C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on February 4-6, 2014. Take a look at our growing catalogue of video blogs to date…and stay tuned for more over the coming weeks.

Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver sat down with the C40 News Team during the C40 Mayors Summit in Johannesburg last month to talk about the value of exchanging ideas through C40, how Vancouver has benefitted, and his city’s goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020.

“We’ve definitely copied a lot of ideas from different cities,” said Mayor Robertson. “When we reach a difficult, intractable problem, we find that other cities have already tackled it and have a solution…we get to learn from the mistakes made by others, and thereby not make those mistakes ourselves.”

An area in which Vancouver is leading the way is with their local energy systems: the city is pioneering efforts to reduce carbon emissions through district energy.

Mayor Robertson also emphasized how critical it is to be able to share data among cities, citing the recently-released Climate Action in Megacities 2.0 as a critical milestone in this process.

“The latest report that’s aggregated data from all the cities will be extremely valuable for us, to see how we fit across the spectrum. And really having those targets and metrics is the approach we’ve taken in Vancouver and we’re seeing it in cities all over the world now. Being able to compare apples to apples means we can drive the change more successfully.”

Watch Mayor Robertson’s full interview below: