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Cities will be key to a low carbon, resilient global economy able to address and adapt to climate change. Many are emerging as leaders cutting emissions and greening infrastructure. Photo ©Pline

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A global Compact of Mayors which brought together well over two thousands cities, including over 200 cities with specific targets and strategies for greenhouse gas reductions, was launched at today’s Climate Summit. Those cities with voluntary commitments are well on their way to reduce emissions by 454 Megatons by 2020.

The Compact, as well as other announcements including a City Climate Finance Leadership Alliance and a City Creditworthiness Partnership will help cities expand their commitments to curb greenhouse gases.

The world’s cities have the potential to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 8 gigatons annually in 2050, according to research recently unveiled by the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg. This reduction is the equivalent of 50 per cent of global coal use.

From Rio to Seoul, mayors are already making great progress in fighting climate change and preparing their cities for its devastating impacts,” said Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, who chairs the C40 Cities coalition.

Sixty per cent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030 and that figure increases to 70 per cent by 2050.

Key partners of the Compact of Mayors include the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, ICLEI -Local Governments for Sustainability, and the United Cities and Local Governments. Special Envoy Bloomberg said:

Now is the time for nations to partner with cities as they create more ambitious climate targets over the next year, both to help the world avoid the worst im pacts of climate change and to benefit millions of people.

Cities Climate Registry

National governments, including China, Germany and the US, also announced commitments to scale up city climate resilience efforts, energy efficiency programs and low-carbon and resilient financing mechanisms. For example, the carbonn Climate Registry, the designated central repository of the Compact of Mayors, serves as a platform for city climate data that can be used by cities, national governments and international climate mechanisms worldwide. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said:

Today’s announcements, including the Compact of Mayors and its standardized reporting process and public data portal, came out of an unprecedented collaboration among city networks.

City Climate Finance Leadership Alliance

About 20 public and private sector partners united to launch the City Climate Finance Leadership Alliance to stimulate investments in low-carbon and climate-resistant infrastructure in cities in low-and middle-income countries. This alliance aims to stimulate public and private investment to generate the trillions of dollars needed each year for climate-smart infrastructure. The Alliance partners include the World Bank, UN-Habitat, Bank of America, Bank of West Africa, Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Agence Française de Développement, the French Agency for Development.

City Creditworthiness Partnership

To accelerate investments in climate-smart urban infrastructure, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the World Bank are uniting to help 300 cities strengthen their creditworthiness and attract investors.

This new coalition builds on work led by the World Bank to help cities improve their financial management, which ultimately will boost their access to private capital. The Partnership will scale-up training and follow-up technical assistance for cities as it provides support to carry out transactions.

Compact of States and Regions

Leading global, state and regional government networks, representing more than 75 regional governments in 35 countries, have joined forces to announce the Compact of States and Regions. The Climate Group, nrg4SD, and R20 have committed to provide an annual account of the climate commitments made by governments around the world and report their progress.

The Compact will support international climate discussions by providing a clear picture of the overall contribution of state and regional governments as well as standardized data to compare state and regional efforts in different parts of the world.

See full UN announcement on Cities

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