Hosted by the city of Seoul, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change 2017 shows how global coalitions and networks are supporting local climate action.
The Forum hosted key discussions on the importance of city to city cooperation, citizen engagement and the role that national governments must play in raising ambition.
Vice-Chair Christiana Figueres, Mayor Park Won Soon of Seoul, South Korea, Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris, France and Mayor Mohamed Sefiani, Chefchaouen, Morocco represented the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy at the opening plenary.
The Global Covenant of Mayors represents the strength of globally coordinated local climate action. Mayor Sefiani expressed his confidence in this unifying message.“The covenant can be an important tool because it can raise our voices.”
Local action: launching Ambitious City Promises
The Ambitious City Promises initiative was launched by Mayor Park and city representatives from the nine participating cities in Southeast Asia. By joining the initiative, these city leaders are making a bold commitment to raise their ambition. At the Seoul Mayors Forum they drove key discussions on the importance of local implementation, incorporating citizen engagement methodologies and the role of national governments in capacitating local action.
Ambitious city leaders shared the value of citizen engagement in their communities acknowledging that small acts can bring huge impacts. They also expressed the urgent need for collaboration with national governments stating that increased support is needed as climate must be integrated from the level of citizen engagement to the level of global action.
Looking forward: the Seoul Statement
In addition to the launch of this new initiative, the key outcome of the Seoul Mayors Forum is the Seoul Statement which is a call to action aiming to raise global climate ambition.
The Seoul Statement calls on parties to the Conference of the Parties to strengthen nationally determined contributions in cooperation with cities and local governments through the Global Covenant of Mayors. It calls on national governments and local governments to work closely together and ensure holistic approaches to sustainable urban development. It also calls on city and local governments around the world to join the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in order to strengthen this global coalition committed to local action and a low-carbon future.
The aim is for this statement to be discussed in-depth at the Climate Summit of Local and Regional leaders in Bonn in November 2017 and delivered as a message from cities and local governments at COP23.