Rabat - Leadership from Cities of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Will Support and Strengthen Turning the Paris Agreement into Action
Rabat – Leadership from Cities of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Will Support and Strengthen Turning the Paris Agreement into Action
We are facing a critical moment when it comes to the future of our climate. With the Paris Agreement officially entered into force, it’s now time to turn historic commitments into measureable action, action that impacts the future of communities around the world. But in order to move from ratification to implementation, it is critical to unlock the potential of cities and give local leaders – the drivers of action on the ground – a seat at the table.
With greater resources and support, cities can and will steer the future of sustainable development. When the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, and European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šef?ovi?, brought the Compact of Mayors and the EU’s Covenant of Mayors together in June 2016 to form the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, soon to be the world’s largest coalition of over 7,100 cities cities dedicated to climate action, they also ensured that the Global Covenant of Mayors would truly be a city-first, city-driven coalition.
That’s why, I’m proud to announce my role as an official Board Member of this new first-of-its kind coalition to represent Chefchaouen, working to guide and support cities as local leaders take even greater action and demonstrate the force of our impact on the global stage.
When I was elected mayor of my city, a fundamental priority of my agenda was tackling climate change, but I quickly learned that I was not alone – that cities around the world both big and small are facing the challenges that come with rapid urbanization, rising sea levels or worsening air quality. The urgent threats of climate change may be more and more pervasive, but these challenges also present enormous opportunities. As mayors we are directly tasked with protecting the health and vitality of their communities and as we work to reimagine urban design and development, tackle issues from flooding to poor air quality to rapid urbanization, and build low-carbon futures for our citizens, we need a coalition to bring us together, guide us forward and demonstrate our impact.
At the COP22, the Global Covenant of Mayors announced the impact of the collective actions of committed cities to date. Already, our coalition has contributed to meeting national and global climate goals and a pathway to emissions reductions that are on par with major global economies. In Chefchaouen, our work has made a strong contribution to this global impact by focusing on improving energy efficiency, increasing energy savings, increasing the use of renewable energy sources and protecting our environment by creating a green and sustainable economy. Chefchaouen is home to the Info-Energie Center, the first of its kind in Morocco, a place that anyone in our city or neighboring area can come and receive quality advice on making their homes, businesses and community more energy efficient.
With the same ambition that the Paris Agreement entered into force, and with the same vision and leadership that led to the creation of the Global Covenant of Mayors, cities will progress
and lead on climate action to create sustainable futures. With a united voice, cities are shifting the heart of this fight into our urban regions and accelerating global progress on climate change. With more and more cities under a single coalition, we’ll be able to collaborate faster, grow our network even larger, and break down the barriers and borders that divide us.
It is because of coalitions like the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy that more cities will be able to transition to zero carbon emissions, advance resiliency planning, showcase our collective impact on the goals of the Paris Agreement, and adapt for the future. As a result, my city and every city will strive for greater climate action, more ambitious targets, all while being able to compare our data and best practices, tracking our progress transparently.
As we chart the course of the future of our cities, one thing is clear: the world cannot exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold set by the Paris Agreement. Cities are already working to turn the framework of the Agreement into concrete action and as an expanded coalition we must engage more cities and most of all galvanize support from all levels of government. Along with my fellow members of the Global Covenant of Mayors, this fight will be won, solution-by-solution, community-by-community, and city-by-city.
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