United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the launch of a global Compact of Mayors, the world’s largest effort for cities to fight climate change. The Compact will enable cities to publically commit to deep GHG emissions reductions; make existing targets and plans public; and report on their progress annually, using a newly-standardized measurement system that is compatible with international practices. Through this effort, cities will be choosing to meet the same requirements proposed for the international climate negotiations that will lead to a global climate treaty in 2015.
The key partners of the Compact of Mayors are the world’s preeminent global city networks: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) with support from the UN’s lead agency on urban issues UN-Habitat.
New research indicates that existing city commitments alone could reduce annual emissions by 454 Megatons CO2e in 2020 — a total of 13 Gigatons CO2e by 2050.
“The Compact is more than a new political commitment. It is an additional locomotive to speed up and scale up transformational climate actions that the world urgently needs right now”, said Juergen Nimptsch, Mayor of Bonn and a leader in ICLEI mayors network. “ICLEI’s network of cities is already pledging 40, 70, 100 percent GHG emissions reductions by 2050. We hope to inspire other cities to do the same and invite them to join the Compact to further accelerate these efforts.”
The Compact will help regions, nations and financial institutions better understand the potential impact of local climate actions, and where they can offer support, such as funding much-needed mass transit systems or energy-efficiency measures.
Under the Compact, local emissions data will be collected through existing city platforms, including partner platform CDP Cities, and will be made publically available through ICLEI’s platform, the carbonn Climate Registry. Together, city networks will engage thousands of cities to join the Compact of Mayors and to register their GHG inventories, climate adaptation and mitigation plans and targets. The Compact also supports a new consistent method for collecting and publishing city-level greenhouse gas data – the Global Protocol on Community-scale GHG Emissions (GPC). Cities reporting through the Compact will be using the GPC to ensure the consistency, credibility and quality of their local emissions data.
The Compact is not just a huge step forward for cities, but also for nations. Importantly, it not only demonstrates cities’ commitment to helping nations set more ambitious, transparent and credible climate targets, but also will encourage nations to recognize local commitments; establish better policies; and direct resources to cities to limit any further increase in global warming.
The full text of the Compact of Mayors can be found here.