updated 6/14/2005 8:15:54 AM ET 2005-06-14T12:15:54

The U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously passed a resolution Monday requiring their cities to try to meet or surpass emissions standards set by the Kyoto Protocol, the international global-warming treaty ratified earlier this year without the United States.

The resolution also urges federal and state governments to meet or beat the goal of reducing global warming pollution levels to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

The cities’ efforts will include reducing dependence on fossil fuels by accelerating development of fuel-efficient technologies such as wind and solar energy, efficient motor vehicles and biofuels.

President Bush opposes the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the U.S. administration questions the certainty of scientists’ views that “greenhouse gases” such as carbon dioxide are causing temperatures to rise. U.S. officials also argue the Kyoto requirements would increase energy prices and cost millions of U.S. jobs.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who sponsored the mayoral agreement and was in Chicago for the conference meeting, welcomed Monday’s resolution.

“We’re very pleased. ... Today is our first endorsement from a major organization,” he said.

Nickels said he began urging that environmental action be taken at the municipal level on Feb. 16, the day the Kyoto Protocol was ratified by 141 nations. A month later, he mailed letters to other mayors urging them to adopt the standards. He said 167 mayors have signed on so far.

"We'll continue to talk to cities one by one and get them signed up and then work with each town to define what the local actions might be," Nickels said.

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