ICLEI Global Executive Committee Unveiled at World Congress

ICLEI’s Global Executive Committee 2015-2018 was unveiled at the opening plenary of the World Congress 2015.

The ICLEI Global Executive Committee represents ICLEI Members on the global level and is the only governance body able to amend the association’s By-laws. The ICLEI Global Executive Committee and the ICLEI Council are the global decision-making and oversight bodies for the global association.

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The new President of the Global Executive Committee will be Wonsoon Park, Mayor of Seoul, South Korea. Mayor Park takes over from David Cadman, who is retiring.

Mayor Park is a champion of urban sustainability and has helped Seoul to become one of the world’s leaders on sustainable development. Most recently, Seoul successfully completed the first phase of its “One Less Nuclear Power Plant” initiative.

Seoul implemented this initiative in order to respond to the continually rising demand for electricity. Its aim was to reduce energy demand by an amount equivalent to the production of one nuclear power plant.

To do this, the city partnered with the private sector to help it produce more energy from renewable sources, and it encouraged all our citizens to save energy in their daily lives. In June 2014, Seoul was able to announce that it had met its target six months ahead of schedule.

At the Opening Plenary, Mayor Park spoke about the need for local action:

We all know that climate change is the biggest threat to the future of cities. Inter-city cooperation is needed because we all  share the same fate. Environmental pollution has been an issue in Seoul, for example, but we have our initiatives have helped us to become an ecocity. We will share what Seoul has done and what its citizens have done at this World Congress.

We have a responsibility to hand this green planet onto our children. A city’s problem is no longer the problem of one country or one city. These are global challenges that all cities must address, with Mayors taking the lead.

Mayor Park concluded by saying:

When you and I become us, together we can overcome any problems.

Outgoing President David Cadman spoke about his experience within ICLEI and his hopes for the future. He acknowledged that progress had been slow but pointed to the flattening of emissions levels as a sign of hope for the future. He also affirmed his belief that change will come from local governments and movements of engaged citizens:

We know what to do at a local level. We are in direct contact with our citizens and we can make a difference. We can do it if we work for it!

The new first Vice President of the ICLEI Global Executive Committee 2015-2018 is James Nxumalo, the Mayor of Durban, South Africa. Mayor Nxumalo has been a prominent voice in ICLEI for many years.