Cities commit to cut over 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 on carbonn Climate Registry
Commitments from local and subnational governments equal total reduction achieved by European Union between 1990 and 2012
6 June 2015, Bonn Germany: New data published in the carbonn Climate Registry: Digest 2014-2015 shows that more local and subnational governments have pledged to commit to measurable, reportable, verifiable (MRV) action on climate change. This latest compilation based on bottom-up reporting demonstrates the potential of ambitious and transparent climate action and provides an evidence base for negotiators to engage local and subnational governments as key actors in the new climate regime. ICLEI has mobilized Mayors and representatives of the cities of Rajkot, Bonn, Bogor, the Province of Barcelona, Tshwane, Dakar, Recife and Paris to deliver this message at the ongoing UN Bonn Climate Conference where nations are currently negotiating the draft pre-agreement to be adopted in Paris in December 2015.
Entities reporting to the carbonn Climate Registry (cCR) now represent 480 million people, or 14% of the world’s urban population. In total, 524 local and subnational governments are reporting on their cities and regions. This figure has increased 10 times from its 2011 level.
Cities and regions have also reported over 1,000 energy and climate commitments, 5,201 climate actions and 1,099 inventories of greenhouse gas emissions. The aggregated greenhouse gas emissions from local and subnational government operations are greater than those of any of the corporations in the top 10 of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Fifteen local governments have committed to carbon neutrality or 100% renewable energy between 2020 and 2050, including Vancouver and Copenhagen.
Vijay Nehra, Municipal Commissioner of Rajkot, India, underlined the urgency of action citing the recent casulties in his city due to heat waves. Rajkot is currently addressing the problem by analyzing its greenhouse gas inventory which pointed out that 68% of the city’s energy is used in the provision of water, noting that much needs to be done to make the system more efficient. Rajkot is one of the model cities of Urban LEDS Project and District Energy Cities initiative of UNEP and already expressed intent to comply with the Compact of Mayors.
Collaborations, reward schemes, capacity building and global partnerships are driving the reporting on the cCR. For instance, 166 cities from 14 countries participated in the 2014-2015 cycle of the WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge through reporting to the cCR. As well as reporting their climate actions on the cCR, many local and subnational governments have committed to the Compact of Mayors - the world’s largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change. The cCR is the central repository of the Compact of Mayors and a prime data partner of the NAZCA Platform of the UNFCCC Secretariat.
Merci Rius, President for the Environment of the Province of Barcelona remarked that "Barcelona and Catalonia are committed to further strengthen partnerships and cooperation across cities and regions and various cross-cutting initiatives including the Covenant of Mayors and actively contribute in the global advocacy of local and subnational governments."
Local and subnational governments will lead the way at the COP21 in Paris through the Transformative Actions Program - a major new initiative to accelerate the implementation of ambitious, cross-cutting and inclusive local climate actions. The TAP will select 100 projects from around the world to be presented at the COP21 in Paris in December, attracting and increasing funding for transformative action.
Juergen Nimptsch, Mayor of Bonn remarked: “Bonn has always been a place for transformation on sustainablility. The spirit of Bonn helped nations to advance in Kyoto Protocol in 2001 and in 2008 paved the way for recognition of local governments in biodiversity. We now urge nations to get inspired by the actions and ambitions reported on carbonn Climate Registry and introduce a strong text that will enhance the role of local and subnational governments in the new climate regime.“
Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Secretary General closed: „Paris 2015 is the last chance for nations to build the trust of the people and engage them in the intergovernmental process to face and solve the climate change challenge. It is now time here in Bonn for you to demonstrate that you also share this will.”
For more information on how cities are participating in global climate change efforts, please visit the Local Government Climate Roadmap website.