The number of cities committing to fight climate change is rising, and so does the level of their climate ambition. Many cities are now setting bolder targets of slashing 40, 70, 100 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 and improving climate change resilience. Collectively, they will be crucial in delivering substantial cuts in global GHG emissions and ensuring the safety of their citizens, infrastructure and environment. This is the key message that ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) is bringing to the Climate Summit 2014. Partnering in eight bold initiatives to step up, scale up, and speed up local climate action, ICLEI is highly committed to their combined success.
Home to half of the world’s population, cities are responsible for 75% of global energy consumption and account for 40-50% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They are already playing a critical role in combatting climate change by cutting emissions, building resilience and promoting sustainable alternatives in the transport, building, waste, water and energy sectors. They will be central in ensuring that adverse effects of climate change will affect citizens, the environment and infrastructure as little as possible.[Note to editors: For stories on how #citiesact to mitigate and adapt to climate change, follow us on Twitter or read our CityTalk blogs]
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability is a powerful movement over 1000 cities dedicated to sustainable development, representing some 660 million citizens in 88 countries. Bringing the voice of its members to the summit, ICLEI is promoting and engaging in eight pioneering initiatives: Compact of Mayors, City Climate Finance Alliance, CCAC Municipal Solid Waste Initiative, Resilient Cities Accelerator Initiative, Carbon Pricing, Buildings Efficiency Accelerator Initiative, District Energy Accelerator Initiative, and Urban Electric Mobility Vehicles.
“For over two decades, ICLEI has been advocating for the appropriate recognition, engagement and empowerment of cities and local governments to tackle climate change. The Local Government Climate Roadmap maps out the international advocacy journey begun in 2007 in Bali, of which the Climate Summit marks a significant step forward. ICLEI will feed its rich experience, technical and policy expertise, and clear vision to the success of the Summit” said ICLEI President David Cadman.
Launched at the Summit, the Compact of Mayors is a particular highlight – the result of an unprecedented international collaboration between city networks and supporters. It is the largest effort by cities to slash community-level GHG emissions, report their progress, and prepare for the impacts of climate change. In partnership with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), ICLEI will invite cities and local governments to report their climate commitments and GHG inventories using a standardized measurement system that is compatible with international practices – the soon-to-be-adopted Global Protocol on Community-scale GHG Emissions (GPC). Further, reporting on mitigation and adaptation actions should continue, helping to identify good and great practice.
The carbonn Climate Registry, the world´s leading reporting platform for local and sub-national climate action – already covering 12% of the world’s urban population through reporting – will become the harmonized database for collecting and publishing city-level greenhouse gas data for the Compact. Publicly available and free to use, it will continue its function as a reporting platform, and, in addition, pool data from existing climate reporting platforms. These data will help regions, nations and financial institutions better understand the potential and current impacts of local climate efforts at a larger scale and where they can offer support, such as funding mass transit systems or energy-efficiency measures.
Today’s announcements – the Compact of Mayors, its standardized reporting process and public data portal carbonn Climate Registry, came out of an unprecedented collaboration among city networks,” said Mayor Park Won-soon of Seoul, South Korea. “This cooperative effort towards a transparent, standardized approach for all cities is an example to the world of what international cooperation can look like, and the impact an agreement of this scope can have.
“The Compact is more than a new political commitment. It is an additional locomotive to speed up and scale up transformational climate actions that the world urgently needs right now, said Mayor Juergen Nimptsch of Bonn. “ICLEI’s network of cities is already pledging 40, 70, 100 per cent GHG emissions reductions by 2050. We hope to inspire other cities to do the same and invite them to join the Compact to further accelerate these efforts.”
On Sunday, ICLEI also joined the People’s Climate March in New York the 21 September, under the slogan “Peoples Climate, Mayors Commit”. Having gathered over 600,000 people worldwide, the march has become the biggest mobilization for climate action in history. Mayors George Ferguson (Bristol, UK), Herbert Bautista (Quezon City, Philippines), Jürgen Nimptsch (Bonn, Germany), Frank Cownie (Des Moines, USA), Ronan Dantec (Nantes) joined the march representing the whole ICLEI network.