Letter from Global Cities Committed to the Compact of Mayors
This week, as the historic Paris Agreement enters into force at an equally historic pace, we, as mayors from around the world, representing big and small cities alike, celebrate this turning point in the global fight against climate change.
This fight will be won by the actions global cities, like ours, are already taking. It is with the same sense of urgency that international leaders adopted the Paris Agreement that local leaders on the ground are working to enforce it. And our work can only be strengthened. As leaders responsible for the resiliency and vitality of our communities, we know there is no time to waste. Citizens in our communities are seeing and feeling the negative impacts of a changing climate on a daily basis — from rising seas to rising temperatures.
While the most urgent climate challenges are already deeply felt in urban areas around the world, these challenges also present an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment, our innovative capabilities, and our leadership on climate change. Moving beyond ratification of the Paris Agreement, local leaders are realigning our ideas, our strategies, our goals and most importantly, our vision for the future to ensure that the world does not exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold.
Rapid changes are happening in nearly every facet of urban life including sustainability, infrastructure, buildings, transit, water and waste management, and agriculture. From car-free days in Paris to waste management in Bangangté, and from greener transport in Surabaya to mobilizing urban transit in Medellìn, cities in every corner of the world are moving forward with bold and transparent action to limit the effects of climate change and build a low-carbon sustainable future.
It is because of coalitions like the Compact of Mayors that cities are supported and challenged to develop innovative ways to accelerate low-carbon transitions and resiliency planning and track their progress transparently. When UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, launched the Compact of Mayors in 2014, they sparked what would become a movement of cities working together as a collective unit demonstrating our impact and showing nations and world leaders that our innovative urban climate policies can and will move us forward.
It is with this same bold vision that the Compact of Mayors is now merging with the European Union’s Covenant of Mayors to form the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy launching in the beginning of 2017. As members of what will be the largest coalition of cities taking action, with more than 7,100 cities from 119 countries and six continents, representing more than 600 million inhabitants, and over 8% of the world’s population, we will have an even greater platform to demonstrate our collective impact and to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement from the local level all the way up.
Thanks to the vision and leadership of the future Co-Chairs of the Global Covenant of Mayors, Michael Bloomberg and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, cities are increasingly empowered to have a greater collective voice on the global stage, and that voice is making the difference. Never before has an international agreement been so quickly adopted and never before will results be so quickly realized due to the leadership and action of cities.
As cities, we will continue to boldly fight climate change to protect and strengthen the future of our world. Thank you to our determined leaders, to our committed partners, and to every local actor working to support our actions as we turn agreement into impact.
- Cities of the Compact of Mayors
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