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Mayors Unite to Fight Climate Change

Mayors Unite to Fight Climate Change

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 10th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Today, local government leaders from around the world, led by Mayor Anibal Ibarra from Buenos Aires (Argentina) and active ICLEI member reminded the world that local government is a key player in the efforts to curb global warming. At a well attended press conference, Mayors signed the Local Government Declaration on Climate Change which will be presented to the General Assembly of COP10 on the last day of the Conference.

While nations continue to debate on how to tackle human induced climate change, thousands of local governments, representing 20 % of global greenhouse gas emissions are taking action to protect both the global climate and the local environment.

By setting emission reduction targets that are more stringent than those adopted by their national governments, by mandating energy efficiency improvements and the use of renewable energies, and by adopting innovative waste management and transportation strategies, local governments each year are enacting measures that prevent tens of millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.

Mayors Ibarra and Anderson as well as Deputy Mayor Imma Mayol (Barcelona, Spain), Deputy Mayor Patricia Ross (Abbotsford, Canada), Councillor Domenico Zampaglione (Milan, Italy) and Councillor Marcello Lelis (Palmas, Brazil) further committed local government to working towards reaching sustainable levels of greenhouse gas emissions by continuing to:

·         develop and implement a strategic and integrated approach to mitigate climate change;

·         mainstream climate protection policy into their municipalities’ energy, transport, procurement, waste, agriculture, and forestry policies;

·         raise awareness on the causes and probable impacts of climate change; and

·         integrate preventive actions into their cities’ climate change policy.

The mayors also called on national government and the business community to assist them in their efforts by channelling investment to projects that can truly make a difference: projects that operate at the local level.

Finally, on behalf of more than 450 local governments and their associations around the world, ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability announced the launch of a new initiative, Target zer0.  Through Target zer0, ICLEI will engage hundreds of cities to go far beyond their existing commitments of 5-20% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  The cities that participate in Target zer0 will work towards the goal of reducing emissions of greenhouse gas emissions to less than 0.5 tonnes per person per year by implementing new, aggressive policies in the short-term and by engaging in a long-term visioning/planning process.
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