Councillor of ICLEI Member Nantes Presents at COP20 Opening

141203_DantecRonan Dantec is a municipal councillor of ICLEI Member City Nantes, France. Situated on the Loire River, close to the Atlantic coast, Nantes is a green wonder of western France. It is France’s sixth largest city, and has a metropolitan area home to some 600,000 inhabitants. In 2004, Time Magazine named Nantes ‘the most liveable city in Europe’ and in 2013 it held the title of European Green Capital. Nantes also successfully hosted the World Mayors Summit on Climate Change in 2013, which concluded with the adoption of the Nantes Declaration of Mayors and Subnational Leaders on Climate Change.

Dantec is the climate spokesperson for UCLG, and he co-authored a policy document entitled: “Local Governments in the Run-up to Paris Climate 2015: From Local Stakeholders to Global Facilitators“. On Monday, Dantec spoke on behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) Constituency to the UNFCCC at the COP20 in Lima. Below is an informal translation of his speech.

Your excellences and distinguished delegates,

My name is Ronan Dantec, I am a city councilor for the city of Nantes, France and a French Senator, and the Climate spokesperson for the UCLG, and it is in this role that I am delivering this intervention today, on behalf of the LGMA.

The last COP held in Latin America 4 years ago [COP16 Cancun] marked the first milestone for the role of local and subnational governments in the fight against climate change by being officially recognized as such in the COP16 preamble. This was further reinforced by the Ministerial-Mayoral Dialogue session at the COP19 in Warsaw and the declaration of yet another COP decision recognizing the importance of local and subnational governments in raising pre-2020 ambitions. This current negotiation cycle we are in, from Durban to Paris, should hopefully allow us to advance further in this endeavor. United around the globe, we bring concrete proposals in order to reinforce our actions, by improving urban and territorial planning, by reinforcing the cooperation between local and subnational authorities and by granting better access to finance mechanisms. These proposals are the core of the Local Government Climate Roadmap adopted in Nantes in 2013 and we have confirmed our commitment by launching our Compact of Mayor initiative, the world’s largest coalition on scaling up local action, which we[as LGMA] have presented at Ban Ki-Moon’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2014. We have also welcomed with great interest the latest UNFCCC Secretary’s technical paper published this week favouring a working strategy of national governments in collaboration with local and subnational authorities and for the latter to develop innovative and ambitious actions, particularly for the interim period 2015-2020.

Furthermore, we strongly believe that it is imperative to create a strong link between the two 2015 negotiation cycles, the one on the Sustainable Development Goals and the one of Climate. This also
resonates with the joint declaration by the eight official Civil Society Observer Groups this year. This collaboration will be further reinforced in 2015, notably through the organization of the World Summit on Climate Change and local subnational authorities in July in the Rhone-Alpes region of France. We thus say with force: Without integrating development issues, we cannot fight climate change efficiently. 2014 will most probably be the hottest year ever measured (and the IPCC confirms us the human origin of this temperature increase). There is no more room for climate-deniers, but neither should it be replaced with an even more dangerous climate-fatalism. It is through our resolute actions at all levels – those of nations, those of cities and rural areas, but also those actions at the individual level of every citizen – that we must respond: the Lima negotiations have to reinforce our capacities and willingness to act together.