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Almost three quarters of global GHG emissions are emitted on urban territories. Cities are therefore key to addressing and adapting to climate change by adopting a low-carbon, resilient economies. Many cities are leading - and so are many subnational governments - in cutting emissions and greening infrastructures. Photo ©Wyliepoon

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Website: The Compact of Mayors Initiative

Contact: info@compactofmayors.org

From Adelaide to Bogota and Paris to Quezon City and Tshwane, cities are rallying around ambitious climate action under the Compact of Mayors cooperative initiative.

The initiative, part of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA) was launched at the UN Climate Summit in New York 2014 by the UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, under the leadership of the world’s global city networks – C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) –with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues

The Compact of Mayors is a cooperative effort among mayors and city officials to pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, track progress and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Compact cities are supported by city networks and “endorsing partners” in this significant undertaking.

Goals and Compliance Requirements

More in detail: Definition of Compliance (PDF)

The Compact consolidates cities’ climate actions through consistent and transparent public reporting of greenhouse gas data. This data-driven platform, which is similar to the one used by nations as they create national climate plans, will help direct resources and policies that better support and accelerate local climate actions.

The platform, in turn, will drive and showcase innovative city level climate action, and inspire change at the global level.

More specifically, the Compact:

  • Commits cities to common reporting processes that allow for consistent and reliable assessment of progress towards meeting their GHG targets;
  • Creates an evidence base of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) impact of cities and urban development to 1. stimulate capital flows into cities to finance targeted low-emission project development and 2. Enable cities and Mayors to monitor their GHG reductions and associated investments;
  • Demonstrates the commitment of city governments to contribute positively towards more ambitious, transparent, and credible national climate targets by voluntarily agreeing to meet standards similar to those followed by national governments; and
  • Encourages national governments to actively support additional city action by recognizing local commitments, establishing more enabling policy environments, and directing resources to cities to limit any further increase in GHG emissions and to appropriately resource both mitigation and adaptation of local climate action.

Steps for Cities to Achieve Compliance with the Compact of Mayors

The Compact of Mayors seeks ambitious commitment by cities to take action on climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as inventory measurements, reporting and transparency.

To begin, a city must pledge to take the steps outlined by the Compact of Mayors to address climate change. To make this pledge, a city registers on either of the Compact’s standard reporting platforms — carbonn climate registry or Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) — or submits a letter including its name and intention to comply.

Within one year of pledging, mayors take stock of the current impacts of climate change in his or her city. To do so, the city (1) builds and completes an overall GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions inventory; (2) identifies its climate risks; and (3) reports in the CDP or carbonn questionnaires.

Within two years, the registered city (1) updates its GHG inventory to include a breakdown of emissions by sources and sectors; (2) sets a target to reduce its GHG emissions; (3) conducts a “climate change vulnerability assessment” using a Compact standard; and (4) reports on all in its chosen platform.

Within three years, using the above data, the registered city publishes a comprehensive climate action and adaptation plan and report the plan on its chosen platform.

Cities can achieve these steps in less time than the three years allotted. In less than one year, Rio de Janeiro achieved all of the steps and became the first city to become fully compliant with the Compact of Mayors.

Once all steps have been completed, the city has met all of the Compact requirements!

Photo credit: Steve Davidson (Flickr)

 

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