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.
Billions of people in thousands of cities around the world will be at risk from climate-related heatwaves, drought, flooding, food shortages, blackouts and social inequality by mid-century without bold and urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately, cities around the world are delivering bold climate solutions to avert these outcomes and create a healthier, safer, more equal and prosperous future for all urban citizens.
Innovate4cities – a Global Climate Action Accelerator – will accelerate climate innovation and reinforce the importance of cities’ needs in national research agendas.
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.
King Philippe of the Belgians, the European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg and other international guests gather to celebrate the establishment of Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy’s global Secretariat in Brussels, supporting cities around the globe in the fight against climate change.