Intermediary cities play a unique and crucial role in the fight against climate change. These cities account for 30 percent of the world’s urban population, a figure estimated to rise to 50 percent in 20 years. They also play a primary role in connecting important rural and urban areas to basic facilities and services – and are where we’ll see the most impact from local leaders’ efforts to reduce global warming.
The next few years will be critical to determine how effectively we will rise to the challenge of protecting our cities, and therefore our planet. But this work can’t be undertaken blindly –we must ensure that our climate mitigation and adaptation strategies are based on sound scientific data and are tackled in an integrated manner with public and private partners.
Cities such as Quito have already proven to be central to the fight against climate change, as local governments across the world are increasingly mandating the construction of zero-emission and resilient infrastructures, from buildings to transport and public spaces, that facilitate environmental and health sustainability co-benefits. However, they are often limited by a lack of access to the required resources.
To bend the curve of emission by 2020, we – individuals, companies, investors, and local and regional governments – can and must all raise our ambition in tandem with our nation states, who will come back to the table to strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement before 2020.
The Edmonton Declaration is a bold call-to-action for cities of all sizes to seriously consider the role of scientific research and data in building ambitious climate action plans and prioritize science-based decision-making that reinforces the targets in the Paris Agreement
The Global Covenant of Mayors highlights the collective potential of over 7400 cities and local governments making voluntary commitments to take significant action. Learn more about the aggregate impact of GCoM cities through its new report.