At COP23, Global Covenant of Mayors Raises the Level of Ambition at the Subnational Level and Local Leaders Showcase their Commitment to Accelerating Global Progress on Climate Change
Bonn, Germany, 12 November 2017 – Today, during the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy released a report outlining the aggregated impact of the potential for the initiative’s cities committed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As the first such report since the merging of the Compact of Mayors and the EU Covenant of Mayors, the data demonstrates the collective potential when cities in the Global Covenant of Mayors are empowered and supported to reduce greenhouse emissions. Overall, the potential of the 7,494 commitments made by Global Covenant of Mayors cities is equivalent to reducing nearly 1.3 billion tons of CO2e emissions per year by 2030. Together, cities committed to the Global Covenant of Mayors have the potential to achieve a cumulative reduction of 46 Gt CO2e by 2050, reaching a global average for 2.19 tons per capita.
The aggregate numbers released today demonstrate the power of cities to contribute to national and global climate targets and further highlight the collective efforts of Global Covenant of Mayors’ cities. These cities and local governments are committed to improving the quality of life in their communities while working to achieve a carbon neutral world.
To further support city contributions to climate action, the Global Covenant also announced a new global standard for reporting city and local governments’ greenhouse gas emissions inventories. This reporting framework is a harmonized protocol for local-scale GHG reporting and allows for tracking the contributions and impacts of cities and local governments in a transparent, quantifiable and meaningful way. Because the Global Covenant recognizes principles of transparency, consistency, and flexibility, this framework is designed to be consistent with national government reporting requirements and the UNFCCC, and adjustable to local circumstances. Making key data available to the public is an important step forward for assessing collective progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and increases the potential for financing opportunities at the local, regional and global levels. A period of consultation with cities and local stakeholders will begin in early 2018 to refine the standard and ensure it effectively supports local efforts to take action on climate change.
Michael R. Bloomberg, Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy: “Cities are leading the way in turning the goals of the Paris Agreement into action. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is helping to speed their progress, and this common global data standard for reporting emissions is another great step in the right direction. It will help cities target their resources, measure their results, share smart strategies, and hold themselves accountable.”
Maroš Šefčovič, Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Vice President of the European Commission: “The Global Covenant of Mayors continues to demonstrate building partnerships across all levels of government and driving resources towards local actors allows for greater success. It’s important for leaders from around the globe to see the impact and potential cities are delivering to achieve global climate goals. By providing a common standard for the way in which subnational actors report greenhouse gas emission data, the Global Covenant of Mayors continues to guide and support subnational actors and enables them to show how their efforts contribute to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
Christiana Figueres, Vice-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy: “The Paris Agreement was built on trust and that trust was built on data. The release of this new data standard is a huge step forward in standardizing the approaches cities are taking to measure their emissions. By enhancing the accountability of our collective efforts, we can prove that the aggregation of local climate action is in fact driving progress towards a more sustainable future and use this evidence to drive deeper investments in urban low carbon solutions. It will also give confidence to governments that they can increase their climate ambition as a means to spur economic growth.”
Patricia Espinosa, Board Observer of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): “I congratulate the Global Covenant of Mayors in the launch of this global standard in city emissions reporting. This consistent framework will be a valuable tool as we collectively work side by side to build a greener, more secure world. Momentum is building and the wealth of actions underway by many actors is inspiring—many more will emerge over the coming years and decades as ambition rises to meet the Paris Agreement goals. Keeping track of commitments by governments but also all progressive sectors of society, will be crucial for knowing if the world is really making a difference and bringing hope, optimism and prosperity to billions of people.”
Mauricio Rodas, Board Member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Mayor of Quito: “As a board member of the Global Covenant of Mayors, I applaud the standard which was developed with expertise from the GCoM partners in a highly collaborative effort. While there will be regional differences in what cities report, it is critical to have a consistent framework for what is reported overall. This global standard will help track the incredible work and commitment of cities in a transparent and consistent fashion. Thanks to these guidelines, we ensure our emissions reductions are captured and the additional actions cities take to fight climate change help ladder up to meet the commitments made under the historic Paris Agreement.”
To learn more about the aggregate impact of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, please go to the Global Covenant of Mayors’ new impact website to read the full report and download the glossy report released at COP23.
To learn more about the global data reporting standard developed by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, please go to the Global Covenant of Mayors’ website.
About the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy formally brings together the Compact of Mayors and the EU Covenant of Mayors, the world’s two primary initiatives assisting cities and local governments in their transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy, and helping demonstrate their global impact. Led by UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, and European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič, the Global Covenant has more than 7,400 city signatories across 6 continents and 119 countries, representing over 680 million people or nearly 10% of the global population. Learn more at: www.globalcovenantofmayors.org.