ICLEI co-hosted a delegation of mayors and local officials called the Local Climate Leaders Circle for one week in Paris, and hardly a moment was lost. From panels to summits to bilateral meetings; with Senators, Cabinet officials, and mayors from around the world; in the “Blue Zone” to City Hall and everywhere in between – the Leaders Circle represented US local governments admirably, and the partners ICLEI, NLC, WWF, and USGBC could not be prouder. In the end, the US boasted the largest delegation of local officials of any of the almost 200 nations in Paris, and they made their voices heard.
The 21st Conference of Parties represents the biggest opportunity for agreeing on an international climate framework in many years. After years of preparations, it is almost certain that some agreement will be reached – but the strength of the agreement is an open question. Local officials have a key role to play in showcasing solutions and inspiring and advocating for an ambitious approach.