ICLEI, an international sustainability organization comprising more than 1,500 local and regional governments, this week announced a new strategic vision to tackle development challenges and climate change at its World Congress in Montréal.
Urban areas account for about 70 percent of global energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions. The new strategy recognizes that immediate action to stop climate change and deal with its impacts is integral to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and meeting the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
“Urban transformation worldwide will shift the trajectory of global development,” said Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI. “The ICLEI Montréal Commitment and Strategic Vision is a path and a pledge to advance the goals and aspirations set in the global sustainable development agenda.”
The strategy includes the following concrete goals:
- To promote 100 percent renewable energy.
- Support industrial legacy cities in transitioning to sustainable economies.
- Develop urban low emission, climate resilient, mobility friendly development strategies and monitor their implementation.
- Lead the transition to a green economy through leading sustainable public procurement networks.
- Connect climate action to urban development and engage local and regional governments in making national climate action plans (Nationally Determined Contributions or ‘NDCs’) fit for the Paris Agreement.
- Support island communities at the front line of climate challenges and address land-based ocean pollution.
- Lead the implementation of global biodiversity targets at the city and regional level.
In Montreal, the Senior Director of Policy and Programme Coordination of UN Climate Change, Martin Frick, welcomed the strategic vision and said: “Those who are most ready to take action and understand the need for change are in cities. Cities have the political power to influence national planning – do use this power.”
Meanwhile this week, a group of NGOs presented a study showing that by 2050, climate change will affect 1.6 billion people in 970 cities, causing a range of problems including heatwaves, drought, flooding, food shortages, blackouts and social inequality.
On the other hand, Similarly, research by the Brookings Institute pointed towards enormous economic opportunities for the cities which transitioning to low carbon and greater resilience to climate change impacts.
The report points out that by 2030, the world will need to invest approximately $85 trillion in low-carbon climate-resilient infrastructure – including transport and energy systems, buildings and industry – in order to meet the Paris climate change agreement’s goals.
Read the relevant ICLEI news item with the link to the strategic vision here
To view the original article from the UNFCCC website, please click here.