New York, 23 September 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the launch of a global Compact of Mayors, the world’s largest effort for cities to fight climate change. The Compact will enable cities to publicly commit to deep GHG emissions reductions; make existing targets and plans public; and report on their progress annually, using a newly-standardized measurement system that is compatible with international practices. Through this effort, cities will be choosing to meet the same requirements proposed for the international climate negotiations that will lead to a global climate treaty in 2015.
“Today, by taking on the same rigorous, transparent approach to measuring and managing their climate action plans as nations, cities are demonstrating their determination to lead on this critical issue," Special Envoy Bloomberg said. "Cities are drivers of progress and innovation, and by taking this step, they can help nations set new, necessary, and aggressive GHG targets over the next year."
Announced at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit, the key partners of the Compact of Mayors are the world’s preeminent 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 the UN’s lead agency on urban issues UN-Habitat.
New research by the parties to the compact, along with research partner Arup, indicates that existing city commitments alone could reduce annual emissions by 454 Megatons CO2e in 2020 – a total of 13 Gigatons CO2e by 2050.
“Cities are economic and population hubs, making them critical actors in the fight against climate change,” said Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Councillor Mpho Parks Tau, a member of C40’s Steering Committee. “The C40 network alone represents more than 500 million people around the world. Together with our partners, our collective efforts to encourage cities to sign onto the compact will help them to set more ambitious climate targets and take action the ground. That is the power of cities.”
The Compact will help regions, nations and financial institutions better understand the potential impact of local climate actions, and where they can offer support, such as funding much-needed mass transit systems or energy-efficiency measures.
"The Compact is more than a new political commitment. It is an additional locomotive to speed up and scale up transformational climate actions that the world urgently needs right now”, said Juergen Nimptsch, Mayor of Bonn and a leader in ICLEI mayors network. “ICLEI’s network of cities is already pledging 40, 70, 100 percent GHG emissions reductions by 2050. We hope to inspire other cities to do the same and invite them to join the Compact to further accelerate these efforts.”
Under the Compact, local emissions data will be collected through existing city platforms, including partner platform CDP Cities, and will be made publically available through ICLEI’s platform, the carbonn Climate Registry. Together, city networks will engage thousands of cities to join the Compact of Mayors and to register their GHG inventories, climate adaptation and mitigation plans and targets. The Compact also supports a new consistent method for collecting and publishing city-level greenhouse gas data – the Global Protocol on Community-scale GHG Emissions (GPC). Cities reporting through the Compact will be using the GPC to ensure the consistency, credibility and quality of their local emissions data.
“Addressing climate change entails making our cities more knowledgeable about their own consumption and resilience. The Compact will contribute to that,” said Mayor Kadir Topbas of Istanbul and President of UCLG. "For climate action by cities to truly count, cities need to move ever closer to coordinate on matters such as the reporting of GHG emissions. The Compact of Mayors represents an important step forward in building consensus among cities on how to achieve this," Dr. Joan Clos, UN-Habitat Executive Director.
A powerful symbol of unity among the world’s cities, the Compact is not just a huge step forward for cities, but also for nations. Importantly, it not only demonstrates cities’ commitment to helping nations set more ambitious, transparent and credible climate targets, but also will encourage nations to recognize local commitments; establish better policies; and direct resources to cities to limit any further increase in global warming.
The Mayors’ Compact is just one initiative launched today that drives home the major role cities are already playing in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change. Other city-based initiatives launched at the Summit today included two new initiatives from national governments and the private sector to help cities finance investments in sustainability – the City Climate Finance Leadership Alliance and the City Creditworthiness Partnership.
About the Special Envoy
Michael R. Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served three terms as Mayor of New York City, from 2002 through 2013. In 2014, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Bloomberg to be Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, where he is focusing on helping cities and countries set and achieve more ambitious goals for mitigating and adapting to climate change. For more information, visit www.mikebloomberg.com/unenvoy. For media inquiries, contact: Benita Hussain, Benita@bloomberg.org.
About C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40)
The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. C40 was established in 2005 and expanded via a partnership in 2006 with President William J. Clinton’s Climate Initiative (CCI). The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes; the 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. To learn more about the work of C40 and our Cities, please visit www.c40.org, follow us on Twitter @c40cities and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/C40Cities.
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is the world’s leading association of more than 1000 metropolises, cities, urban regions and towns representing over 660 million people in 88 countries. ICLEI promotes local action for global sustainability and supports cities to become sustainable, resilient, resource-efficient, biodiverse, low-carbon; to build a smart infrastructure; and to develop an inclusive, green urban economy with the ultimate aim of achieving healthy and happy communities.
ICLEI operates the carbonn Climate Registry, the world’s leading reporting platform for local and subnational climate action. It is the designated central repository of the Compact of Mayors launched today at the Climate Summit 2014.
Created in 2004, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is the united voice and world advocate of local and regional self-government. Members of UCLG are present in 140 countries, and are organized into seven regional sections, a Forum of Regions, and a metropolitan section. UCLG's membership includes over 1,000 cities and regions, as well as 155 local government associations.
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat, is the United Nations agency for sustainable urban development. It is mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities while advocating adequate shelter for all.