Cities Step up Their Fight Against Climate Change

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global covenant of mayors office opening, Brussels

The Global Covenant of Mayors for climate and energy joined forces and merged its European and global networks to innovate and boost its actions against climate change.

This large network of more than 7,500 cities is leading ambitious action to help achieve the Paris Agreement goals and a low-carbon future. Their new office in Brussels will help accelerate that work, including urban research & sustainable finance. The King of the Belgians, who was present at the opening of the new office in Brussels on March 22nd 2018, expressed his commitment for climate action. Mr Bloomberg, the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action, offered him a branch of the 9/11 Survivor Tree – a symbol of resilience & hope – on the anniversary of the attacks in Brussels.

King Philippe of the Belgians, European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg and other international guests gathered to encourage cities, where most of the world population now lives, to lead by example on climate action and to reconsider our way to produce, consume and work together.

The Global Covenant of Mayors was created in January 2017, becoming the largest global coalition of cities and local governments to combat climate change. It comprises thousands of cities across 6 continents and more than 120 countries, representing over 700 million people, almost 10% of the global population. While today, cities account for more than 70% of global energy-related GHG emissions, they are the places where concrete climate action can be implemented most efficiently in areas such as buildings, transportation, energy and waste. By 2030, Global Covenant cities could collectively reduce 1,3 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year. This equals the emissions of 276 million cars taken off the road. With around 300 Belgian cities signing up to the Covenant of Mayors, they are taking the lead in the fight against climate. Mr. Termont, mayor of Ghent, stressed how much the citizens in Ghent are embracing its initiatives to implement the goal 13 on climate change as part of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals. His remarks coincide with Mr. Bloomberg’s late announcement that the Global Covenant is launching a City Research & Innovation agenda, highlighting the enormous capacity for offering creating innovative climate solutions cities and climatologists tem up in their fight against climate change.