Mayor Kirk Caldwell left Oahu Monday morning for a two-week business trip to Europe.
Caldwell will visit Denmark, Germany and France during his trip, with his first stop in Copenhagen to attend the C40 World Mayors Summit to provide an “island perspective.”
The summit will include 2,000 decision makers, business executives, scientists and citizens who will help promote action against climate change as well as share innovative solutions to create healthier communities. His travel costs and participation will be covered by C40.
Caldwell will make a presentation on “Urban Mobility and Modern Cities,” in which he will provide “an overview of how automated rail, electrified bus transit, and bikeshare and micromobility” will help contribute to a carbon-free transportation future.
“Climate change is the single most pressing issue of our time,” Caldwell said. “I’m extremely proud of the progress we’ve already made in Honolulu in addressing this issue, but we know the hardest work is yet to come. As we move toward a more sustainable future, meeting with other world leaders will give us a chance to share our challenges and learn from each other as we tackle the climate crisis head on.”
Following the summit in Denmark, the mayor will visit Coswig in Germany after an invitation from its mayor, Alex Claus, to commemorate what would have been the 175th birthday of former Royal Hawaiian Band leader Henri Berger, who grew up in Coswig.
Caldwell will then visit the Vosges Region of France and join a Hawaii delegation to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the towns of Bruyeres and Biffontaine by Japanese-American soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion. He will then visit their graves at the Epinal American Cemetery.
Caldwell was invited to commemorate the anniversary by Yves Bonjean, the mayor of Bruyeres, Honolulu’s sister city.