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Marcelo Ebrard addressing 2007 EV International Forum
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard addresses some 100 dignitaries and nearly an equal number of press. As the progressive mayor of the second largest city in the world, his efforts to address its environmental problems include encouraging greater use of bicycles -- including his own -- improvements in mass transit systems from adding another subway line to increasing the current single MetroBus BRT line to ten, and endorsing a plan to begin converting hundreds of city-owned vehicles to electric drive.

Mexico City Mayor: We Must Change Our Habits

Exclusive EV World video of Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard's speech to 2007 EV International Forum

By EV World

Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon assumed the position of Head of Government of the Federal District, as greater Mexico City is known, late in 2006. He had previously been the secretary of public security in 2000 during the Lopez Obrador administration. It is speculated that he may run for the presidency of Mexico in 2012.

Mayor Ebrard is obviously a man on the move politically and as such, he attracts his share of media who are not at all bashful about shoving their microphones, recorders and cameras in his face.

So, when he arrived to give a speech and view Electrica Autos Eficaces de Mexico's converted Nissan Tsuru (Sentra) at the opening of the one-day EV International Forum on May 8, 2007 at the Sheraton Centro Historica Hotel in downtown Mexico City, he brought with him a throng of reporters who seemed eager to capture the slightest nuance of his message.

EV World was also on-hand, courtesy of the event organizers. We were prepared to record the mayor's speech on both audio and video; the audio portion, which would be the English language translation, later would be dubbed over the Spanish for our largely English-speaking audience.

What you will see below is the video from that speech... what there was of it.


Click play button to view video

A little over half way through the speech in which Ebrard highlights Mexico City's environmental problems and how it is responding to them, something happened to the audio system, either a wireless transmitter blew or its receiver. There was a 'pop' and then there was no sound.

After a few moments of confusion and a couple failed attempts to restore sound, the Mayor continued his speech without the aid of amplification or English-language translators, who also had their sound cut-off. The local, Spanish-speaking press rushed to the stage and buried the poor man in sea of microphones. Seemingly unfazed, the mayor continued.

However, without the benefit of the translators, we were forced to discontinue recording. The sound system was restored shortly after the mayor concluded his remarks and we were able to resume audio recording of the remainder of the EV International Forum.

Despite having video and audio taped only a portion of the speech, we thought we'd still share what we do have with you. We have dubbed the English translation over the top of the Spanish, ironically using the amplifier 'pop' as the alignment point (we have edited out the pop and cut the speech at what we think is the most appropriate point).

The mayor speaks candidly about the problems confronting the city, especially the impact that global warming is already having on the city including serious changes in rainfall patterns, as well as rising average temperatures. He stressed that the city must do what it can to address these problems, but that this will require everyone changing how they live and what are their expectations.

He said that while the first generation of regulations to remove lead from gasoline, require catalytic converters and remove sulfur from diesel fuel have helped, it still isn't enough. A second generation of change is now necessary and he discusses what some of those changes are beginning with encouraging more people to begin leaving their cars at home and riding bicycles more frequently [See Pedal Power Politics]. He said his goal is to raise the percentage of trips by bicycle to the average of other cities around the plant.

The next measure is to promote the greater use of alternative fuel vehicles and here he specifically praises the role of the battery electric car that he'd just driven, noting that while there are some sections of the city where it may not be feasible due to terrain, it can and should prove very serviceable over most of the rest of the greater Mexico City region.

He urged automakers to make available more hybrid vehicles for Mexico. He noted that 'public' transportation for school children is the exception in the Federal District, not the rule and he wants to change that in order to reduce the number of car trips made by parents who must take their children to school.

He concludes -- in our shortened version of the speech -- by saying that we must each assume responsibility for our actions today. We can no longer shift the burden of our decisions and our actions on future generations.

EV World thanks the EV International Forum and the Access translation services for enabling us to make this video available to you, our "viewers".

Times Article Viewed: 8974
Published: 20-May-2007

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