Lima hosts cities climate change meeting alongside COP20

Lima convenes the biggest gathering of Mayors and climate action experts after the New York Climate Summit

8 December 2014, Lima, Peru – The Peruvian capital Lima is hosting an important climate change meeting today among world mayors and experts to concretize their engagement in the new climate regime to be adopted in Paris next year.

The meeting’s key outcome – the “Lima Communiqué” – outlines the scientific basis for climate action, and cements the commitment of local governments to step up collaborative climate action and scale down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Communiqué will feed into the ongoing UNFCCC negotiations, where over 190 countries are negotiating the draft text of new international climate change agreement.

Cities are made up of its citizens, and if the changes are not coming from new generations, from the community, we are walking through unknown paths into our planet’s uncertainty. We cannot allow that,” says Susana Villarán, Mayor of Lima, Peru.

She adds: “By 2035, 75 of 100 people are going to live in urban areas. As Mayors, we have the responsibility of ensuring that our cities would be livable for future generations. The legacy of this COP20 in Lima should be for a greater, more robust engagement of local governments beginning with us, starting today in Lima, towards Paris and beyond.”

Organized with leading global cities’ network ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the meeting highlights the Compact of Mayors – the world’s biggest collaboration to accelerate climate action – as one of the key opportunities for local governments and their leaders to engage in.

Under the Compact, cities are to set climate targets and report against these targets into a reporting platform, using a standard GHG measurement system, namely the newly-launched Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). All reported data will be consolidated and made publicly available through the carbonn Climate Registry, the Compact’s designated central repository.

Today’s meeting also sees the launch of the GPC – the first widely endorsed standard for cities to measure and report their GHG emissions. Developed by WRI, C40 and ICLEI, the GPC uses a robust and clear framework to establish credible emissions accounting and reporting practices, thereby helping cities develop an emissions baseline, set mitigation goals, create more targeted climate action plans and track progress over time.

The meeting welcomes an impressive number of leading cities convening at the historic municipal hall building of Lima namely: Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Recife, Brazil; Fortaleza, Brazil; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; Quito, Ecuador; Mexico City, Mexico; Durban, South Africa; Montevideo, Uruguay; Bristol, UK; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; and Paris, France, making it the largest gathering of cities following the Climate Summit in New York last September.

High-level representatives from France, Peru and Poland, the three COP troika Presidencies and pioneering members of the “Friends of Cities” group at the UNFCCC, are also at the meeting to signal their willingness to further support and engage with cities post-2015.

The COP20 is paramount to producing a decisive agreement in Paris 2015 which will determine the post-2015 climate agenda. To achieve this goal, we need to enable more ambitious actions and commitments from local and subnational governments to help nations move to a climate-friendly track”, notes David Cadman, ICLEI President.

“We are grateful for the vision and great leadership of the City of Lima and for giving local governments a proper venue where they can jointly set targets, spur new partnerships, and inspire ambition among cities and nations alike,” he closes.