The Important Role of Cities in the Fight Against Climate Change
Climate change is a global issue, but it’s also a local issue, impacting communities, families, and individuals. That means city and local governments have a major opportunity to lead on climate solutions. As former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg points out in this article (co-authored by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo), urban areas contain most of the world’s population and produce around 70 percent of global carbon emissions. Local leaders’ experiences with tackling climate change will make them extremely valuable players at the upcoming COP21 climate summit in Paris.
The article makes three key points about the role of cities:
1) they are on the front lines of disruptive impacts like heat waves and floods
2) the more fiscal autonomy cities have, the more successful they are at implementing policies and initiatives
3) cities that are empowered by their national governments deliver better results
Today, city and local government leaders are convening in Lyon for the World Summit Climate & Territories, the principle gathering of subnational leaders in preparation for the Paris conference. A summit for mayors and other local actors, called the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, is also planned for Dec 4, during COP21. Bloomberg and Hidalgo hope these gatherings will show how local governments can contribute to reaching global goals.
ecoAmerica recognizes the value of municipalities in promoting climate solutions, and we help empower community leaders through programs like our just-launched initiative, Path to Positive: Los Angeles. Visit the Path to Positive Communities website to join or learn more.
Michael R. Bloomberg and Anne Hidalgo, contributors to The World Post
Over the next few days, leaders from cities, local governments and other organizations around the world will gather in Lyon, France. It is an important step toward COP21, the UN conference on climate change that will happen in Paris in December. The bold actions taken not only by local leaders but also by all the range of non-state actors to reduce greenhouse gases place them at the forefront of the fight against climate change. This is the reason why we have decided to co-host in Paris the 4th of December 2015, during COP21, a summit for mayors and local leaders, called the Climate Summit for Local Leaders.
Since cities and urban areas hold most of the world’s population and contribute to 70 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, they are key contributors to any global success at COP21. Our summit of cities and local governments in Paris at the Hôtel de Ville will be an opportunity for local leaders to strengthen their commitments, share experiences, learn from each other and deliver optimal instruments to reduce the carbon footprint on urban areas, and allow, to the benefit of all, a healthier, more sustainable and more prosperous way of living.
Image credit: Mark Wilson via Getty Images