Cities and regions push forward and call on national leaders for ambitious climate deal

PARIS, FRANCE, 5 December 2015 - Cities and regions Members of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability call on national governments at COP21 to deliver an ambitious agreement and commit to scale up their effort to make the low-carbon transition happen.

This is the message that Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul and ICLEI President, brought to the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) Day, on the 5th of December.

Seoul is one of the most ambitious cities in the world in terms of its commitment to a sustainable, low-carbon future. The Mayor of Seoul joined Michael Bloomberg and UN Secretary General in the launch of Compact of Mayors on 23 September 2014 and announced its Compact Compliance in December 2014. Among the very first to sign to the Compact of Mayors, the joint effort by the three main city networks – ICLEI, C40 and UCLG – to join forces for climate action, the city of Seoul has shown the way forward with its pioneering work on energy efficiency and its plans for the future.

Mayor Park brought to the heart of the COP21 negotiations a message of determination and a strong stance of what cities and regions expect from their national leaders in Paris. That is, a binding agreement including a set of meaningful measures, such as:

  • the adoption of long term mitigation goals, in particular regarding carbon neutrality
  • the phase-out of fossil fuels and 100% renewables by 2050 at the latest
  • financial support for developing countries to achieve their INDCs
  • a 5-year revision process of the INDCs
  • the adoption of a financial target to reach at least $35 billion in public finance for developing countries
  • a faster implementation of pre-2020 mitigation commitments in particular by developed countries
  • a robust framework that addresses loss and damage from the impacts of climate change

But cities and regions also commit to do more and do it faster, for instance exploring 100% renewables scenarios by 2030 and 2050 and further increasing the level of transparency and inclusion of local climate projects. These and other commitments, together with ICLEI’s position on the outcome of the negotiations, are part of the official position that will be adopted by the Global Executive Committee of ICLEI on the 6th of December. ICLEI also endorsed the Paris City Hall Declaration 4 December and Lima Paris Action Agenda Cities and Subnational Working Group Paris Action Statement.

ICLEI acts as the focal point of LGMA since 1995, actively contributing to the UNFCCC negotiations and engaging as a leading international organization in the ADP Technical Examination Process on Urban Environment between 2013 and 2015.

ICLEI led the Local Government Climate Roadmap as the global advocacy of local and subnational governments since 2007 which resulted in remarkable achievements in terms of Recognition, Engagement and Empowerment of local and subnational government in the global climate regime. “History tells us that climate has always had a major impact on the rise and fall of civilizations. But history also tells us that humanity has always overcome the numerous threats to the future of civilization through solidarity and cooperation. This is what cities are doing, an example that we hope will be followed by national leaders here in Paris” said Park Won-soon, Mayor of Seoul and President of ICLEI.

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