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Current and Former Executive Secretaries of the UNFCCC Patricia Espinosa and Christiana Figueres, along with global mayors, will work to steer course of the largest city-led coalition of local leaders committed to climate action
Mexico City, December 1, 2016 – Today, during the C40 Cities Mayors Summit, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, and Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič, announced the global mayoral board leadership for the newly created Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. The appointed city-led board of the Global Covenant of Mayors includes:
- Mayor Kasim Reed (Atlanta, USA)
- Mayor Patricia De Lille (Cape Town, South Africa)
- Mayor Mohamed Sefiani (Chefchaouen, Morocco)
- Mayor Anne Hidalgo (Paris, France)
- Mayor Mauricio Rodas (Quito, Ecuador)
- Mayor Jaiman Upadhyay (Rajkot, India)
- Mayor Park Won-soon (Seoul, South Korea)
- Mayor Tri Rismaharini (Surabaya, Indonesia)
- Mayor Gregor Robertson (Vancouver, Canada)
Former Executive Secretary the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, will as serve Vice-Chair of the board. Current UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, will join the Board as an observer and advisor, and Michael Bloomberg’s Special Advisor for Climate Change, Amanda Eichel, will become the Executive Director for the Global Secretariat, which houses the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. The Board, led by Co-Chairs Bloomberg and Šefčovič, will work to guide and support the coalition of cities to take even greater climate action and demonstrate the force of their impact on the global stage.
“We’re excited to welcome an extraordinary group of mayors to the Global Covenant board and to have Christiana Figueres – who has long been a strong voice for cities – serving as vice-chair,” said UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Michael R. Bloomberg. “The leadership of cities is more important than ever in the fight against climate change. This group’s diverse experience from cities on every continent will help support local action and speed global progress.”
With similar sentiments, Vice President of the European Commission and Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Maroš Šefčovič said, “By bringing together the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors, we expand our global reach to strengthen and mobilize local leadership in every corner of the world. Now, as our board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy takes shape, we’re proud to be joined by these climate champions who are strengthening action in their cities and committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. What they do in their cities will inspire others to be as ambitious in taking concrete action. To build on our resources and ensure that the needs of cities are met, we’re excited to have their voices be directly heard to ensure the Global Covenant of Mayors is truly a city-led, city-driven coalition.”
Cities that set carbon reduction targets and implement changes are the necessary forces propelling the world towards reaching the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. The local leaders on the Board will be instrumental in setting the strategic direction and priorities of the initiative and promoting it worldwide in light of its impact and progress. Leaders on climate action in their own communities, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Board members will expand the scale and impact of individual local action as part of this global coalition of cites of all sizes to address the causes and consequences of global climate change.
Cities already account for more than 70 percent of global energy-related GHG emissions and with urbanization on the rise, it is projected that nearly 66 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, making cities the epicenter of climate solutions. As the chief international climate change negotiator for the successful CO21, Christiana Figueres will continue to move climate action forward in her new role as Vice-Chair for the Global Covenant of Mayors, working to unlock the potential of cities and demonstrate their critical importance in ensuring the success of the Paris Agreement. As Vice-Chair, Figueres will serve as a global ambassador for the Global Covenant of Mayors, working closely with Board members and Co-Chairs to advocate for greater support and engagement from national and global leaders, work to set the strategic direction of the coalition, and support cities in their actions and propel city voices to the global stage.
“I am very honored, today, to be stepping into my role as Vice-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy” said Vice-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Christiana Figueres. “As the former Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, I know just how significant city action is and what an important and critical platform the Global Covenant of Mayors will be for all of us. I am excited to begin work with the participating cities around the world, project partners, fellow board members and co-chairs to continue to progress the work of implementing the Paris Agreement and supporting national commitments as they turn into measurable action on the ground. This can’t happen without city leadership and that is why I have taken up this position, and I congratulate the EU and the Compact of Mayors for making this merger work”
The current Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Patricia Espinosa, will also join the Board as an observer and advisor. In her role, Espinosa will support and galvanize cities worldwide in their efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and connect global, national, subnational and local actors working to curb emissions and increase resiliency.
“Today is truly an exciting one for cities and subnational actors in the climate space,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. “My involvement will help ensure the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy serves to instigate even greater action by cities and local governments in support of the Agreement and countries’ climate action plans, known, as National Determined Contributions.”
“I am esteemed to join my fellow Board members of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy for this announcement,” said Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris. “We all share a commitment to adapt, revitalize and mitigate climate change impacts in our communities, and as the Chair of C40 Cities and now in this leadership role, I’m proud to take part in elevating the critical role of all mayors onto the global state in the defining challenge of our time.”
“At the C40 Mayors Summit, I stand with my fellow members of the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors to take a step towards launching this global, city-first coalition,” said Mayor Patricia de Lille of Cape Town. “As a member of the Board, I’m so proud and honored to be able to bring the voices of citizens in both my city and cities around Africa to the table. Now more than ever, subnational leaders must be heard to strengthen our efforts in turning national commitments into concrete solutions.”
“Today, I am proud to announce in Mexico City that I will be joining the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy,” echoed Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver. “This is an important step forward for Vancouver, the North American region, and for all of the 7,100 cities committed to the Global Covenant of Mayors. Cities are leading the charge on developing, innovating and broadening climate change solutions, and I’m excited to take on this new role to help further collaborate with other local leaders to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
Global Covenant of Mayors cities are already demonstrating their collective impact on a global scale by taking action to mitigate and adapt to climate change while tracking their progress transparently. Through the voluntary commitments they have already made, the potential of existing commitments for Global Covenant of Mayors cities under the Compact of Mayors and the EU Covenant of Mayors are significant:
- Under the Compact of Mayors, 596 commitments made by Compact cities are equivalent to reductions of nearly one billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2030 or 11.6 billion cumulative tons between 2010 and 2030. This represents 26% of what we know is possible globally through direct city action through action by these 600 cities alone.
- The over 6000 commitments under the EU’s Covenant of Mayors are projected to have an overall estimated reduction of 240 Mt C02e i.e. 27% by 2020. These emissions reductions from Covenant cities may represent approximately 31% of the overall EU28 GHG emission reduction target by 2020 compared to 2005. With a reduction of 23% achieved already in 2014, the Covenant cities are well on pace to reach this goal.
Even more can be possible when cities collaborate, work together and partner with other levels of government and the private sector. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy will facilitate this cooperation to further increase the contribution of local action to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy will consolidate city and local governments commitments, mobilise more cities to step up and showcase their action. It will help to assess the impact cities are having on curbing global GHG emissions, their efforts to increase resilience, and rely on existing reporting frameworks to increase coherence and compatibility to measure progress over time. Critically, this consolidated effort has significant potential to inform the UNFCCC’s Global Stocktake in 2018—the next time the world will come together to assess implementation and collective progress in advance of 2020’s deadline for submitting more ambitious and longer term plans for deep carbonization.
About the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy formally brings together the Compact of Mayors and the EU Covenant of Mayors, the world’s two primary initiatives of cities to assist cities and local governments in their transition to a low-carbon economy, and demonstrate their global impact. Led by UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, and European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič, the coalition comprises more than 7,100 cities across 6 continents and 119 countries, representing over 600 million people or 8% of the global population. To learn more, click here or go to test-gcmayors.pantheonsite.io.