Happening on 21 September in New York and globally, the
People's Climate March is on its way to becoming the largest and most diverse mobilization
for climate action in history. To show their commitment to protecting people’s climate, a
number of Mayors will join the march under the banner, “People’s Climate, Mayors Commit”.
This is in line with the vision laid out in the global advocacy of the Local Government
The march is set two days before world leaders gather in New York for the Climate Summit called by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The Summit is critical to lay the foundations for a new climate treaty that countries are expected to sign in 2015. With the impacts of climate change being felt around the world, with the solutions on the table and with growing momentum behind internationally-coordinated action to fix the crisis, the moment has come to put this issue back on top of the political agenda.
Home to half of the world’s population, cities are responsible for 75% of global energy consumption and 40-50% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They are playing a pivotal role in combating climate change by slashing these GHG emissions, building resilience and promoting sustainable alternatives to transport and energy. They will be central in ensuring that adverse effects of climate change will affect their citizens as little as possible.
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the world’s leading cities network, will participate in the People's March along with other 750 organizations, sharing its vision of local sustainability. It will mobilize mayors from around the world who will bring to New York the voices of their citizens. Mayors George Ferguson (Bristol, UK), Herbert Bautista (Quezon City, Philippines), Jürgen Nimptsch (Bonn, Germany), Frank Cownie (Des Moines, USA), Ronan Dantec (Nantes) have confirmed their attendance to the march. Many other local governments support the march. Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter and New York City Council already announced their endorsements supporting the March. Meanwhile, Mayor Gustavo Petro will lead one of the biggest marches in his city of Bogotá, capital of Colombia.
Everywhere Mayors are showing their strong commitment to tackle climate change and protect their citizens from its adverse effects. With his clear vision of energy justice and citizen participation, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson led his city to become the European Green Capital for 2015. In Bogotá, the Bus Rapid Transport system called TransMilenio is sparing the city 350,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, reducing air pollution and energy dependence. Seoul, South Korea has reduced its power needs by the equivalent of an average nuclear power plant and is investing in renewables. Its Mayor actively promoted #OccupySeoul, encouraging citizens to take active part in re-shaping the face of Korea's capital. In Bonn, the city is progressing with its plans to cut emissions by 40% and become the cycling capital of its region.
On its new online platform, CityTalk, ICLEI tells some of the challenges and stories of success of these cities, showing how mayors are spearheading a diverse movement of local governments with high ambitions, engaging their citizens to be part of a sustainable revolution. Mayors are the closest level of government to citizens. They are deeply grounded in their reality, and are committed to uphold their citizen’s safety, justice and sustainability.
CityTalk also features ICLEI’s agenda in New York. Besides engaging in the march, ICLEI
is actively involved in nine action-oriented initiatives linked to the upcoming UN summit:
Compact of Mayors,
City Climate Finance Alliance,
arranging bank loans so home owners may buy solar panels.
CCAC Municipal Solid Waste Initiative,
recycling all waste and selling the minerals, etc = zero waste.
Resilient Cities Accelerator Initiative,
Buildings Efficiency Accelerator Initiative,
Requiring insulation so cities save enough energy to displace one atomic reactor.
District Energy Accelerator Initiative,
requiring Utilities to pay solar farmers $0.29 kwh for feeding solar onto the grid.
Urban Electric Mobility Vehicles.