Nov 8, 2022 - News

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie is on a global mission

A photo of Frank Cownie.

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie in 2019. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie is in Egypt through Nov. 20 for the 27th United Nations Climate Change conference.

Why it matters: He’s part of an international effort to help thousands of local and regional governments avoid the most devastating effects of global warming.

Catch up fast: Cownie is president of the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), a group based in Germany that works with local leaders on environmental, economic and social problems.

  • Representatives from nearly 200 countries are at this month’s conference in Sharm El Sheikh, where Cownie will make multiple presentations.

Zoom in: Local governments are increasingly at the front lines of climate change as communities try to recover from disasters like flooding and derechos, Cownie told Axios Friday.

  • Global cooperation can help identify better recovery and prevention efforts, he said.
  • The conference focuses on issues like energy and food security and will include meetings with officials from the United Nations.

Of note: His travel costs are paid for by some of the environmental organizations that he represents and not the city, Cownie noted.

  • Councilperson Josh Mandelbaum is mayor pro tem and leading city meetings while Cownie is away.

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