ICLEI: Cities to raise their voices against climate change

    Cities and local governments around the world must be recognized as partners to national governments if the fight against climate change is to be won, ICLEI –Local Governments for Sustainability, said today on the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit being held in Copenhagen over the next two weeks.

    “Failure is not an option: the world’s citizens, through their cities and local governments, representing more than half of the world’s population and growing, are urgently calling for a new, strong, comprehensive and global climate regime, “ said ICLEI President, David Cadman, before leaving Vancouver, Canada, to join 1200 city representatives attending the UN negotiations. “We need an international collaboration that acknowledges the roles and responsibilities of every level of government and of every citizen as essential to achieve a global, local carbon, climate resilient future.”

    Cadman´s message is at the heart of a unique two-year process that cities and local governments worldwide have organized through the Local Government Climate Roadmap. “We have throughout the negotiations to take up the offer of cities and local governments to partner with them in the fight against climate change and to acknowledge the efficiency of cities,” says also Bertrand Delanöe, Mayor of Paris and President of UCLG and adds “Agreements can and should be reached at Copenhagen based on greater social justice in the organization of international relations. Copenhagen should be a moment of courage and financial solidarity and changing the relations between nations.”

    Cities make up only five per cent of the planet´s surface yet account for half of the world´s population and consume 73 per cent of the world´s energy. The pledges made by industrial states on their individual or joint GHG emissions reduction commitments for a post-2012 period remain, collectively, far below the recommendations of scientific experts. However, thousands of cities and local governments, located in these industrial states are committed to ambitious emissions reduction targets until 2020, 2030 and 2050.

    Since 1990, local voluntary climate actions have shown that a considerable amount of emissions reduction can be achieved in buildings, transport, waste, and energy and in the planning of urban areas. Cities and local governments can thus successfully support national governments in fulfilling their international binding commitments in the post-2012 period. In developed and developing economies, cities and local governments are continually demonstrating their capacity to act on climate change by creating comprehensive solutions working innovatively with wind, water and solar energy, and with waste management, recycling, transport and construction.

    The Local Government Climate Roadmap process mirrors the “UN Climate Roadmap” initiated at the UNFCCC Climate Change Talks in Bali in December 2007. It is facilitated by ICLEI and includes ICLEI, UCLG, the C40 Climate Leadership Group, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change and Metropolis (www.iclei.org/climate-roadmap/media).

    ICLEI acts as the Constituency Focal Point to the United Nations Convention on climate Change for Local Governments and Municipal Authorities. ICLEI will host and facilitate the Local Government Climate Lounge in the UN COP 15 Conference building in Copenhagen. (www.iclei.org/climate-roadmap/cop15) ICLEI is also a coorganizer of the Climate Summit for Mayors, uniting Mayors from 100 large cities, together with the City of Copenhagen and C40.

    About the Climate Lounge: The work of cities and local governments will culminate in the Local Government Climate Lounge – the advocacy base for the 1200+ registered local government representatives at COP15. For the programme and location details please go to http://www.iclei.org/climate-lounge

    Further information:

    Contacts in Copenhagen:
    Michael Kessler, Local Government Climate Roadmap Media Relations
    Mobile: +45 503 79 555
    Email: mkessler@ya.com; mickessler188@gmail.com

    Gino Van Begin, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
    Mobile: +45 503 79 777
    Email: climate-roadmap@iclei.org

    Ronan Dantec, Deputy Mayor of Nantes, UCLG Climate Negotiation Group
    Mobile: + 33 671906097
    Email: info@cities-localgovernments.org