PARIS (AP) — American actor and environmental activist Robert Redford called global warming "an urgent matter" Friday and encouraged mayors to reduce local emissions even as world diplomats are trying to work out a global climate accord.
Redford, trustee of the NGO Natural Resources Defense Council, told The Associated Press that the U.N. climate conference under way in Paris is "key."
"I think we're running out of time because the planet is running out of resources," he said. "I think now the American people are waking up to the fact that nothing has happened and then the consequences are going to fall on them — the people — and not the politicians."
Redford was invited to a climate meeting of mayors and local leaders in Paris. "Mayors are closer to the ground are closer to the people and they're closer to the solutions and we need solutions rather than talk," Redford told the AP.
Redford announced a new extension of the City energy project, a joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation aimed at helping cities boost energy efficiency of buildings and therefore cut carbon pollution. The new round of funding provided an additional $10.5 million, raising the fund to $20 million in total.
Asked about the voices of climate doubters that are still strong in the U.S. Congress, Redford insisted "their time is over." Many Congressional Republicans doubt global warming is real, or fear that stringent controls of carbon emissions could kill jobs.
"The people that are involved with oil, gas, coal, they've been running the show for a long, long, long time. And their time has run out. Because the resources are now a problem," Redford said.
Redford was among celebrities in Paris advocating around the conference on climate, which runs through Dec. 11.