Announcing the Leadership of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
City-led board will work to steer the future of climate action around the world.
Kicking off the month of December was the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City, where over 80 cities gathered to share innovative ideas on climate action strategies, push for broader collaboration, and encourage stronger action to grow their collective impact.
This bi-annual C40 Summit could not have come at a more vital time for city climate action. Just as local leaders demonstrated their strength at the COP21, the mayors of C40 — nearly ¾ of which are committed to the Global Covenant of Mayors — again joined together to reaffirm their commitment to making the Paris Agreement a reality and ensure nations continue to realize their commitments despite leadership changes around the world.
On the sidelines of the Summit, as local leaders renewed their climate commitments and shared the importance of their actions and their pledges to reduce emissions, the leadership of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy was announced as the governing body that will set the strategic of the coalition to both drive action to new levels and progress on impacts already underway. The Global Covenant brings together the Compact of Mayors, developed under the leadership of the world’s global city networks — C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) –with support from UN-Habitat, and the EU Covenant of Mayors, the world’s two primary initiatives of networks to assist cities and local governments in their transition to a low-carbon economy.
Co-Chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Cites and Climate Change and European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič announced that Christiana Figueres will join them as the coalition’s Vice-Chair, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa will serve as Observer and Advisor, and nine mayoral leaders from cities around the world will make up the board including:
- Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta
- Mayor Patricia De Lille of Cape Town
- Mayor Mohamed Sefiani of Chefchaouen
- Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris
- Mayor Mauricio Rodas of Quito
- Mayor Jaiman Upadhyay of Rajkot
- Mayor Park Won-soon of Seoul
- Mayor Tri Rismaharini of Surabaya
- Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver
“The leadership of cities is more important than ever in the fight against climate change. [The Global Covenant of Mayors leadership’s] diverse experience from cities on every continent will help support local action and speed global progress.” — UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Michael R. Bloomberg.
“Now, as our board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy takes shape, we’re proud to be joined by these climate champions who are strengthening action in their cities and committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. What they do in their cities will inspire others to be as ambitious in taking concrete action.” -Vice President of the European Commission and Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Maroš Šefčovič.
Now more than ever, city leaders must have a seat at the table. These nine mayors and climate leaders will represent the local voices of cities around the world to ensure that the Global Covenant of Mayors is truly a city-led, city-driven coalition. Working to set the strategic direction and priorities of the coalition while galvanizing action, the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors will also work to guide and support this coalition of cities to take even greater climate action and to demonstrate the force of their impact on the global stage.
As Vice-Chair, Christiana Figueres will continue to push action on climate change forward from the local level all the way up. Both unlocking the potential of cities and advocating for greater support and engagement as a global ambassador, Figueres will help elevate the voices of cities onto the global stage.
Upon stepping into her new role as Vice-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres said, “National governments have set the direction, and cities will set the pace.”
Joining as an Observer and Advisor, Patricia Espinosa will activate more cities around the world into action and galvanize greater support for global climate goals. By coordinating the efforts of global, national, subnational and local actors all working to curb emissions and increase resiliency, Espinosa plays a key role in ensuring more and more players are on track to deliver on the Paris Agreement.
So much more is possible when cities partner, share ideas and collaborate not only with each other, but also with all levels of government, crossing every border and in every corner of the globe. The Global Covenant of Mayors will create a platform for cities to enhance collaboration and increase local participation in the fight against climate change, as well as advocate for additional resources for their efforts.
Mayors in cities around the world share one thing in common: their commitments to not only drive action in their cities, but also to set the pace for the world to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. It is up to cities to push this fight forward, and keep pushing. Reducing carbon emissions and improving resiliency while measuring progress will continue to be the core components of city action, but more ambitious steps must be taken and stronger commitments must be made to deliver on the global climate goals.
Local voices must be heard, and it is up to this coalition to lead the global fight against climate change and secure a sustainable urban future for all. As the world looks towards 2020, it is cities that will develop the sustainable pathway there.
View all of the action from Mexico City on our Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/gp/compactofmayors/G21oM3
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