ICLEI Press Release: 414 Cities Report Raft of Inspiring Climate Actions

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ICLEI Press Release 11-14-13 header

Look­ing for inspi­ra­tion when tack­ling cli­mate change? Take a look at what Cities do….

Cities and towns of diverse sizes and eco­nom­ic stand­ings are reg­is­ter­ing more cli­mate com­mit­ments, actions and per­for­mance – and are gen­er­al­ly more ambi­tious than their nation­al gov­ern­ments.

In its Novem­ber 2013 report, the car­bonn Cities Cli­mate Reg­istry (cCCR) announced that 414 cities reg­is­tered over 4,000 cli­mate actions which are either com­plet­ed or in progress until 2020. 63% of the reduc­tion com­mit­ments are above 1% per year, exceed­ing the val­ue of even the most ambi­tious nation­al gov­ern­ments under the Kyoto Pro­to­col.

Open­ing the ADP work­shop on urban­iza­tion at the ongo­ing Unit­ed Nations War­saw Cli­mate Con­fer­ence, ICLEI Advo­ca­cy Head Yunus Arikan shares the vision of local cli­mate action rais­ing the glob­al lev­el of ambi­tion and under­lines con­crete pro­pos­als that could feed into nego­ti­a­tions lead­ing to a glob­al emis­sions deal in Paris in 2015.

This unique ADP work­shop arrives in a per­fect tim­ing in terms of respond­ing to chal­lenges brought about by grow­ing urban­iza­tion. I am par­tic­u­lar­ly con­vinced that mul­ti-lev­el gov­er­nance, with empha­sis on the strength­ened role of cities, will turn chal­lenges into oppor­tu­ni­ties,” Arikan explains. He adds that the new cCCR results show that “cities are ambi­tious and are active­ly deliv­er­ing cli­mate actions that the world can count on.”

The cCCR’s lat­est count reveals data from 414 cities and local author­i­ties with a com­bined pop­u­la­tion of 438 mil­lion, cov­er­ing com­mu­ni­ty green­house gas (GHG) emis­sions of more than 2.2. giga­tonnes of car­bon diox­ide equiv­a­lent per year (G tCO2e/pa).

Break­ing down the report­ed data, these advanced cities have report­ed a total of 836 cli­mate and ener­gy com­mit­ments (show­ing their tar­gets), 770 GHG inven­to­ries (show­ing they are mon­i­tor­ing progress) and 4208 mit­i­ga­tion and adap­ta­tion actions (show­ing they are act­ing).

Top­ping the list of city lead­ers is Van­cou­ver in Cana­da. Van­cou­ver was named Earth Hour Cap­i­tal ear­ly this year for its out­stand­ing cli­mate actions, which includes a com­pre­hen­sive cli­mate change adap­ta­tion strat­e­gy and projects on resilience-build­ing, green jobs, eco-friend­ly means of trans­port and urban food secu­ri­ty.

Mean­while the City of Buenos Aires in Argenti­na per­formed excel­lent­ly in the emis­sions reduc­tions front and in ensur­ing the trans­paren­cy of its low emis­sions path­way. The city achieved sig­nif­i­cant emis­sions cut through its strict build­ing code, which dras­ti­cal­ly improved the effi­cien­cy of its gov­ern­ment build­ings by 40%.

Gen­er­al­ly, cli­mate com­mit­ments are short to come by. Aim­ing to spark high­er lev­el of ambi­tions from oth­er local and nation­al gov­ern­ments, Euro­pean Green Cap­i­tal Copen­hagen unveiled plans of a car­bon-neu­tral city by 2030, through pro­grams such as ener­gy recy­cling from exhaust air, poli­cies on ener­gy cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, eco-trans­port and eco-house build­ing, among many oth­ers.

Impressed by the advanced cli­mate actions of these cities, ICLEI Pres­i­dent David Cad­man remarked in his recent Nordic Cities tour: “Cities like Oslo, Helsin­ki, Stock­holm and Copen­hagen can serve as role mod­els for how local author­i­ties can accel­er­ate the tran­si­tion towards low-car­bon and resilient devel­op­ment.”

This is the moment in War­saw to get a real­ly seri­ous timetable and struc­ture to get a real­ly mean­ing­ful agree­ment in Paris”, he added. Cad­man will be trav­el­ing to War­saw this week to attend the inau­gur­al 21 Novem­ber Cities Day of the UNFCCC high lev­el seg­ment and oth­er cities’ relat­ed events.

ICLEI is the lead­ing local author­i­ties net­work address­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. Since 2010, it has been oper­at­ing the cCCR, the world’s largest data­base of local cli­mate action through the vol­un­tary report­ing pur­suant to polit­i­cal com­mit­ments (i.e. sig­na­to­ries of Mex­i­co City Pact), capac­i­ty build­ing efforts at the nation­al lev­el (i.e. Japan Reg­istry, PACMUN Project in Mex­i­co and Urban-LEDS Project in Brazil, India, Indone­sia, S. Africa), and by cre­at­ing incen­tives (i.e. WWF Earth Hour City Chal­lenge imple­ment­ed in 15 coun­tries).

Fur­ther graphs and data can be found in the new­ly released 2013 cCCR Report: bit.ly/1e5yLun

Vis­it cCCR for more infor­ma­tion at www.citiesclimateregistry.org

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Note to edi­tors:
Fur­ther infor­ma­tion for jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing COP 19 can be found at www.iclei.org/pressroom

ICLEI Press Release 11-14-13 Footer with Bonn address

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