On 21 September thousands and thousands of people will flood New York and other cities all around the world, calling on world leaders for climate action.
It looks like the People’s Climate March will be the largest and most diverse mobilization for climate action in history. Also ICLEI will be there, with a delegation of Mayors, to show our commitment to protecting people’s climate. Our banner and motto will simply be “People’s Climate, Mayors Commit”.
The march is set two days before world leaders gather in New York for the Climate Summit called by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The Summit is critical to lay the foundations for a new climate treaty that countries are expected to sign in 2015. With the impacts of climate change being felt around the world, with the solutions on the table and with growing momentum behind internationally-coordinated action to fix the crisis, the moment has come to put this issue back on top of the political agenda.
Home to half of the world’s population, cities are responsible for 75% of global energy consumption and 40-50% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They are playing a pivotal role in combating climate change by slashing these GHG emissions, building resilience and promoting sustainable alternatives to transport and energy. They will be central in ensuring that adverse effects of climate change will affect their citizens as little as possible.
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the world’s leading cities network, will participate in the People’s March along with other 750 organizations, sharing its vision of local sustainability. It will mobilize mayors from around the world who will bring to New York the voices of their citizens. Mayors George Ferguson (Bristol, UK), Herbert Bautista (Quezon City, Philippines), Jürgen Nimptsch (Bonn, Germany), Frank Cownie (Des Moines, USA), Ronan Dantec (Nantes) will be there, while New York City Council already announced its endorsement to the March. Mayor Gustavo Petro will also lead one of the biggest marches in his city of Bogotá, capital of Colombia.
Everywhere Mayors are showing their strong commitment to tackle climate change and protect their citizens from its adverse effects.
With his clear vision of energy justice and citizen participation, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson led his city to become the European Green Capital for 2015.
“Changing the way energy is produced and used means more jobs and more equality. I want to make quite sure that everybody feels they belong to this great project and that they’re welcome with their ideas about how they can actually improve their lives” he says.
In Bogotá, the Bus Rapid Transport system called TransMilenio is sparing the city 350,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, reducing air pollution and energy dependence.
Seoul, South Korea has reduced its power needs by the equivalent of an average nuclear power plant and is investing in renewables. Its Mayor actively promoted #OccupySeoul, encouraging citizens to take active part in re-shaping the face of Korea’s capital.
In Bonn, the city is progressing with its plans to cut emissions by 40% and become the cycling capital of its region.
Only when you move, you can move the world. I am excited to be part of a Mayors Delegation joining todays People Climate March and thereby to join a global pro climate movement. On Tuesday, we will attend the Secretary Generals Climate Summit and demonstrate our commitment and engagement – via the Compact of Mayors and by carbonn, the Bonn based international reporting platform compiling initiatives and achievements of the local level worldwide.” said mayor Jürgen Nimptsch.
You can find out about some of their challenges and stories of success in our blogs, here on CityTalk.
Besides engaging in the march, ICLEI is actively involved in nine action-oriented initiatives linked to the upcoming UN summit: Compact of Mayors, City Climate Finance Alliance, CCAC Municipal Solid Waste Initiative, Resilient Cities Accelerator Initiative, Carbon Pricing, Buildings Efficiency Accelerator Initiative, District Energy Accelerator Initiative, and Urban Electric Mobility Vehicles. Check out the full Schedule.