New York, NY (19 September 2023) – Today on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly, European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies Michael R. Bloomberg co-chaired a board meeting of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), the largest global alliance for city climate leadership, uniting a global coalition of over 12,800 cities and local governments.
Executive Vice President Šefčovič previously co-chaired GCoM alongside Mike Bloomberg from 2016 to 2019. During his tenure, notable accomplishments included leading Bloomberg Philanthropies and the European Commission’s merging of the Covenant of Mayors and Compact of Mayors to launch the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and developing “Innovate4Cities,” a cities-driven research and innovation agenda to mobilize resources and create innovative tools to respond to cities’ needs.
Both Co-Chairs stressed the importance of advancing robust involvement of local and subnational leaders in global climate negotiations and actively championing local climate initiatives.
“Cities play an absolutely crucial role in our mission to combat climate change, and their significance cannot be underestimated,” said Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight. “The Global Covenant of Mayors plays an important role in elevating climate commitments, accelerating the energy transition, and fostering resilient communities..”
“The Global Covenant of Mayors is making encouraging progress in cutting emissions and moving us toward our climate goals,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Maroš is a steadfast advocate for cities and played a critical role in forming the Global Covenant of Mayors with us in 2017. I look forward to continuing our work to keep elevating city climate leadership, mobilizing private finance, and bringing more people together for climate action in the lead up to COP28 and beyond.”
With over 12,800 signatories spanning 144 countries and representing over 1 billion people, GCoM stands as a powerful alliance, showcasing how collective local efforts can create a global impact. A recent report demonstrates that, together, GCoM’s signatory cities and local governments, could reduce global emissions by 4.1 GtCO2e in 2050—equivalent to 80% of the USA’s annual GtCO2 emissions. GCoM cities are also leading by example, already taking significant actions to combat climate change. In 2022, GCoM cities reported undertaking hundreds of thousands of concrete initiatives focused on improving energy efficiency, boosting renewable energy sources, increasing energy accessibility, and enhancing climate resilience.
“In the lead up to this year’s COP28, we have the opportunity to uplift and empower the voices of local leaders and subnational governments around the world — to build a more resilient future where all can thrive,” said Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris, France, Global Ambassador for the Global Covenant of Mayors. “I am thrilled for Executive Vice President Maroš Šefčovič to co-chair today’s meeting of the Global Covenant of Mayors board at this critical juncture for climate action.”
“Cities have long led on combating climate change, and that momentum only continues to build.” said Mayor Mohamed Sefiani of Chefchaouen, regional Ambassador for Africa for the Global Covenant of Mayors. “I look forward to collaborating with Executive Vice President Maroš Šefčovič to continue mobilizing city climate ambition and accelerating progress toward greener and more resilient communities.”
Members of the Global Covenant Board represent more than 12,800 cities and local governments around the world committed to ambitious action to combat the climate crisis and build resilient communities.
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About the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM)
GCoM is the largest global alliance for city climate leadership, uniting a global coalition of over 12,800 cities and local governments and 100+ supporting partners. The cities and partners of GCoM share a long-term vision of supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and towards a resilient and low-emission society. GCoM serves cities and local governments by mobilizing and supporting ambitious, measurable, planned climate and energy action in their communities by working with city/regional networks, national governments, and other partners to achieve our vision. The coalition comprises cities across 6 continents and 144 countries, representing over 1 billion people or more than 13 percent of the global population.