"On a cool December night in Paris, at an awards ceremony in the city’s 3rd arrondissement, Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, took the stage to thunderous applause from an audience full of his fellow mayors from around the world. Paes’ voiced boomed as he stressed the importance of cities leading the fight against climate change — as chair of the C40 network, a group representing 80 world cities working together to combat the devastating effects of climate change, Paes is a prominent evangelist of the local leader’s power to champion sustainability at home.
'It is choices taken by mayors in the next five years that will determine whether or not the world is on a high or low emissions pathway,' Paes said. 'But what better hands could the world be in — cities have continued to innovate.'
Onstage, Paes exuded charm as he guided the awards ceremony from start to finish. After the ceremony, however, Paes’ sunny disposition quickly faded when he was approached by a group of reporters hoping to question the mayor about his city’s role in hosting the 2016 Olympic Games. A gruff Paes rebuffed all requests for comment, striding through the gaggle of reporters with few words. The mayor, it seemed, was less interested in discussing his own local policy than extolling the grandiose benefits of cities writ large."