14.06.2016

G7 Environment Ministers and Mayors in Toyama, Japan - Copyright: BMUB / Inga Wagner

Mayors to G7 leaders: “Make the Paris deal a reality now, embrace renewable energy”

TOYAMA, JAPAN, 12 May 2016 - Mayors from G7 countries are asking their national leaders to be true to their Paris commitments and decidedly speed up and scale up the low-carbon transition.

Gathered at a parallel event in Toyama, Japan, where Environment Ministers from G7 countries are discussing sustainable development goals and post-Paris climate agenda, the mayors provided local leaders’ perspective on the direction in which the seven leading economies should go on climate, energy and resilience.

“Toyama is proud to be hosting this first-ever meeting of G7 Environment ministers and local leaders. As mayors of pioneering climate-conscious cities, we call on our national governments to show conviction and build on the agreement they have signed in Paris, speeding up and scaling up the low-carbon transition. Japan can play an important role in achieving this, as it has the potential to be a leader in innovation for sustainability. Let’s tap this potential” said Masashi Mori, Mayor of Toyama.

"Cities are at the forefront of tackling climate change, and the transition to a 100% renewably powered future is well on its way in many cities around the world, including Vancouver. If Canada - and other nations- are to meet COP21 goals, national governments must put an end to fossil fuel subsidies and start investing in infrastructure that shifts us to 100% renewable energy and builds a resilient, low carbon economy" said Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver.

“National leaders have recently signed the Paris climate deal, committing to pursue a 1.5°C target and to encourage investments in renewable energies. G7 leaders will soon meet to discuss, among other pressing issues, the implementation of this landmark Paris agreement: the “Kitakyushu Initiative on Energy Security for Global Growth” was adopted at the G7 Energy Ministerial Meeting in Kitakyushu. As the mayor of a city that has overcome industrial pollution through investing on clean technology and built international partnership with cities, I am convinced that we should embrace innovation and exploit Japan’s vast renewable energy potential” said Kenji Kitahashi, Mayor of Kitakyushu.

National governments agreed in Paris to aim to limit global warming to 1.5°C and achieve climate neutrality around mid-century. A shift from fossil fuels towards renewable energy solutions will be instrumental in achieving this goal. Many cities (e.g Aspen, USA) and regions all over the world have indeed already gone 100% renewable; many more (e.g. Vancouver) have committed to do so within one generation.

“The mayors gathered here for the G7 Environment Ministers’ Meeting to share their good practices have been recognized to be not just local leaders, but also climate leaders” said Wolfgang Teubner, ICLEI Europe Regional Director. “We hope this event will open the path to a more permanent exchange between mayors and minister on the global agendas of sustainability and climate action. Two milestones were set last year: the United Nations resolution on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. The leaders of the seven largest economies now have a responsibility to show by example, keeping SDGs high on their agenda and agreeing on scaling up and speeding up the implementation of the Paris deal”.

The parallel event to the G7 Environment Ministers’ Meeting was organized by the Ministry of Environment in Japan. Co-chairs of the event were the mayor of Toyama, Mr. Masashi Mori, and former Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs and ICLEI Japan Chair of the Board of Directors,
Prof. Hironori Hamanaka. Prof. Hamanaka and Mr. Mori led a delegation of mayors to the G7 Environment Ministers’ Meeting, to discuss the Chair’s summary of the event.

The summary highlights some crucial points, including calls on national government to:

 

  1. Recognize, support and showcase the advanced efforts by leading cities making the transition to sustainable societies;
  2. Promote networks of leading cities and encourage successive cities to be involved;
  3. Mainstream the role of cities.

 

The final outcome of the G7 Environment Ministers’ Meeting will be brought by ICLEI and the city of Toyama to the United Nations Environment Assembly, to be held in Nairobi on 23-27 May.

 

 


 
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