In Chicago for the North American Climate Summit
Today, mayors from across the United States, Canada and Mexico convened in Chicago for the the first-ever North American Climate Summit in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, to articulate their cities’ commitments to the Paris Agreement and recognize the impact local governments can have in the fight against climate change.
As the global community looks at subnational actors to lead and meet the goals set under the Paris Agreement, the Global Covenant of Mayors launches its work in the United States working closely with existing partners including C40, ICLEI, UCLG, USDN and ClimateMayors, among others, in order to further local commitments across the United States to fight climate change at this critical time.
From Pittsburgh to Portland, 140 American cities have committed to the Global Covenant of Mayors — catalyzing a nation-wide movement of local governments sharing a long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low emission, resilient society.
Global Covenant of Mayors Vice-Chair Christiana Figueres, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States David O’Sullivan, Board Member and Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver, and Julia Stasch, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation opened the summit with a conversation highlighting the significance and urgency of urban climate action.
A panel discussing the role of cities raising the ambition and leadership of climate action followed featuring Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, Mayor Cindy Perry of Pittsboro, North Carolina and Mayor Ed Lee, of San Francisco.
At the summit, the Global Covenant of Mayors also introduced a new project developed in partnership with World Resources Institute (WRI) — an open data initiative to facilitate climate data access for cities and local governments will initially be available for US Cities.
Launching globally in September 2018, the portal will provide comprehensive and transparent city and local government climate data, vastly accelerating a city’s ability to inventory its community’s greenhouse gas emissions and expedite climate action planning.
Through this streamlined process for collecting and disaggregating national and regional datasets, cities across the world will be able to allocate scarce resources away from time-intensive inventory tasks and put more emphasis towards identifying and accelerating the implementation of climate action that directly impacts their constituents and mitigates both causes and effects of climate change.
To mark the climate leadership and progress of American cities just two weeks after the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) in Bonn, Germany, over 50 mayors signed onto the Chicago Climate Charter.
Through the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, cities across North America and the globe are reaffirming their commitments to reducing carbon emissions, addressing climate change at the local level, and staying on track to meet the goals set under the Paris Agreement.