Today, 162 countries are expected to sign the Paris Climate Agreement in New York. This is an important step, concluding months of harsh negotiations. However, would they pay more attention to the local policies that have been put in place since the Paris City hall declaration in December, world leaders would blush..
Planning ahead – Almada local climate platform
Cities did not wait for the New York signing ceremony to face the climate challenge by planning and concretely engaging in their energy transition. Over 6600 cities engaged in the Covenant of Mayors are a proof of it.
The city of Almada in Portugal, for example, is committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. In order to collectively work towards this objective, the has created its own collaborative working tool: the city officially launches its Plataforma Local Almada Clima (PLAC) today. The platform is a voluntary participation forum in which its partners discuss, share and disseminate information and knowledge to support local action for transforming Almada into a post-carbon and resilient territory. Energy Cities joins this initiative as an advisor, feeding the experiences of its 1000 members into the platform.
Many more bold climate pioneers can be found in our best practice database: www.energy-cities.eu/citiesactions
New York, and then? Including local players in the implementation process
The signing event is a reminder of what happened in December, but will it trigger action? In Paris, the international community agreed on keeping the temperature rise below 1.5°C. However, the national pledges (INDCs) fall short of this commitment and further, serious and quick action will be needed to meet this objective in time. Taking into account the efforts and needs of the local authorities and the civil society is an essential step to bridge this gap as the UNDP estimates that 50 to 80% of climate adaptation and mitigation measures will be implemented at the subnational or local levels.
This week, both the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) of the EU and the Heinrich Böll Foundation were discussing the role of the local level in the energy transition. Energy Cities was happy to contribute to the debate on how to formulate and implement climate adaptation and mitigation measures, framing measures through sustainable energy action plans while simultaneously advancing local leadership and awareness.
The European contribution to COP22 and vice-versa
A truly multi-level governance and stronger cooperation in combating climate change will strengthen the implementation of climate action in the EU and massively support already committed local and regional councils.
Our annual conference in Bornova (Izmir), Turkey will be the perfect opportunity to discuss this issue, both from a local and national point of view. We are proud to welcome Mrs. Hakima El Haite, Moroccan Minister of the Environment and Special Envoy of the Kingdom of Morocco for COP22 for the session “Cooperation as a mechanism to scale up the energy transition” on Thursday June 2nd.
More information and registration to the conference: bornova2016.energy-cities.eu
April 22, 2016