Mayors and city representatives from the five continents gathered today at the UN climate conference (COP23) in Bonn to demonstrate how they are taking tangible steps to drive global climate action forward, helping to raise ambition.
At an event held under the auspices of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, mayors and city representatives of Regional Covenants of Mayors discussed opportunities and challenges that addressing climate change presents to local governments and exchanged experiences and ideas for a way forward to accelerate action.
European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Mayors and local leaders around the world are taking action to cut emissions and adapt to risks that come with climate change. From sustainable mobility to investing in clean energy, local leaders are showing the way. The Covenant of Mayors has already proved its value, in Europe and beyond. And I know that the initiative will continue to grow and catalyse leadership and action. You can continue to count on Europe as a key ally in this global fight against climate change and for sustainable development."
Cities and local governments are in the front line of climate action, but we need to do more to enhance collaboration, in particular among cities and between local and national governments, as well as to help unlock public and private investments at local level and promote the development and deployment of innovative solutions.
In all of this, the Global Covenant of Mayors and can play an important role, enabling leaders from across the planet to work together, share ideas, and develop new strategies in the collective fight against climate change.
The event held in the EU Pavilion at COP23 took place just after the Climate Summit for Local and Regional Leaders, which provided the platform for city and local governments to announce a common approach for tracking greenhouse gas emissions in a flexible and transparent way.
In Europe, signatories of the EU Covenant of Mayors have already reduced their total emissions by 23% from their starting point and are expected to reach 27% by 2020. This is above the EU target of 20% by 2020. In addition to reducing emissions, more than 900 cities in Europe – and many more throughout the world, from Africa to Asia – have also committed to undertake adaptation planning to address the impacts of climate change.
About the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) is an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of an inclusive, just, low-emission and climate resilient future, helping to meet and exceed the Paris Agreement objectives. It brings together the Compact of Mayors and the Covenant of Mayors, the world’s two primary initiatives assisting cities and local governments in their transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy. Co-chaired by European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael Bloomberg, and with leadership from global city mayors, the Global Covenant has more than 7,400 city signatories across 6 continents and 119 countries, representing over 680 million people or nearly 10% of the global population.