Bonn, 12 November 2017 – City commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions announced at the UN climate change summit in Bonn, represent nearly seven million people, or roughly one in every 10 people on the planet.

The commitments, made under the Global Covenant of Mayors and presented in a new impact document at COP23, demonstrate the unquestionable position of cities around the world to make real and significant impacts to climate action.

The Global Covenant of Mayors is an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary commitments to combat climate change and to move to a low-carbon society.

UN-Habitat is one of its founding members and it works with partners C40, ICLEI, UCLG, the EU among others, to amplify the impacts of local governments in making significant climate commitments.

Highlighting the influence of cities

Cities are under the spotlight this year at the UN’s leading climate talks, with a dedicated Human Settlements Day and a day allocated to promoting Sustainable Development Goal 11 – to make cities resilient, safe, inclusive and sustainable.

Speaking at the Cities and Local Leaders Summit, Dr Joan Clos, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, spoke about the enabling capacity of cities under the direction of the New Urban Agenda, signed one year ago at the Habitat III conference.

“The New Urban Agenda continually draws the link between climate action and environmental protection on the one hand and the transition to a more sustainable economy on the other,” said Clos.

Closing the Summit, actor and former Californian Governor, Arnold Schwartzenegger confirmed the influencing power of urban areas in the fight against climate change.

“Cities, states and regions hold tremendous power, especially when you work together,” said Schwarzenegger. “We are the laboratories of reform, we are the engines of innovation and we are where the action is.”