Nantes Declaration refuels hopes for local governments, as science calls for urgent climate actions

Amid IPCC report, over 50 mayors from 30 countries affirm their commitment to scale up climate actions


30 September 2013 - With the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report painting a clear and worrying picture regarding man-made climate change, cities and regions came together at the World Mayors Summit on Climate Change on Saturday to affirm their commitment to scale up climate actions, urge engagement with the global level on climate change, and enhance access to finance.

The Nantes Declaration of Mayors and Subnational Leaders on Climate Change was adopted with the support of over 50 mayors from 30 countries, and more than 20 regional and global networks of local and subnational governments.

Adoption of the Declaration marks the start of a new phase for the Local Government Climate Roadmap, an advocacy process aimed at recognising, engaging and empowering local governments within the global climate regime.

Among the innovative features of the renewed Local Government Climate Roadmap is the creation of a “Friends of Cities” group that brings together national governments who wish to collaborate with local and subnational governments. The Roadmap aims to pave the way to the UN Paris Climate Conference in 2015.

Polish Vice-Minister of the Environment Beata Jaczewska said that the declaration will play an important role in the upcoming Convention of the Parties (COP) conference, to be held in November 2013 in Warsaw. The Polish Presidency will convene the first ever “Cities Day” that will bring together Ministers and Mayors during the high level segment on 21 November 2013.
Mayors from around the world offered statements of support for the Declaration.

Farhad Suri, Mayor of South Delhi, India, recalled the words of Gandhi while expressing his approval:“Our future is shaped by what we do today.”Mathew Appelbaum, Mayor of Boulder, Colorado, USA, spoke of the devastation of his city by extreme weather, and of the urgent need to turn words into action: “We recently experienced an incredible flood, in which a year’s worth of rain fell in four days. Events like the one that struck Boulder are becoming more common all around the globe. It’s clear cities are on the frontlines - we are suffering the impacts of climate change. Because of that we have to be leaders and mitigate and adapt in the face of climate change. I am delighted and proud to support the Nantes Declaration.”

Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Executive Mayor of Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa, offered strong support, calling for a greater focus on the global south, as well as access to funding for much needed adaptation measures.

The audience, comprised of local government leaders, national government officials, and international organisation representatives, stood in applause upon the adoption. The adoption ceremony came on the second day of the World Mayors Summit on Climate Change, an event held under the patronage of François Hollande, President of the Republic of France and with the support of the French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, which brought local leaders together to discuss funding climate actions.

The Nantes Declaration was developed through a partnership with the Local Government Climate Roadmap and was facilitated by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.

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