Post-COP21, Cities Show Renewed Purpose and Stronger Commitment
By Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group - FEB. 02, 2016
On December 4th, more than 1,000 mayors, local representatives and community leaders took part in the Climate Summit for Local Leaders convened by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg. This largest gathering of elected local leaders on climate change ever, showcased successful city climate action with the international community, and added to the growing momentum for a meaningful global climate agreement.
COP21 was a great success for climate diplomacy: The Paris Agreement, adopted by 195 UNFCCC member States, is a major breakthrough that creates the chance to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change. The reference to pursuing efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius is the strongest acknowledgement yet of the seriousness of the problem. It should be the start of a new climate economy - a critical chance to advance a new era of better, stronger, more equitable growth.
Moving forward, implementing the Paris Agreement will require unprecedented cooperation among multiple actors – and a groundswell of political support from citizens. As Mike Bloomberg says in the video clip below, “If the public understands the problem and the public demands a solution to the problem, then governments around the world will do something about it.”
Luckily, momentum to act on climate change is on our side. Cities, for one, have emerged from COP21 with a renewed sense of purpose and an even stronger commitment to implementing effective climate solutions, setting targets and measuring progress – through such initiatives as the Compact of Mayors – with the goal of creating a climate safe world for current and future generations.
C40 interviewed Mike Bloomberg during the 2015 C40 Cities Awards in Paris, where 10 global cities were recognized for their leadership in tackling climate change across key sectors. Bloomberg Philanthropies was a key sponsor of the event. Watch as he discusses why mayors are best positioned to take bold climate action and what he hopes the Paris Agreement will achieve in 2016 and beyond:
To see more interviews with mayors and global thought leaders during COP21, click here.
U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and President of the Board of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
IN MIKE'S WORDS
There are so many facets to climate change that make it difficult to address, but you don’t give up just because it’s difficult. You work harder.