Cities Alliance unanimously endorses the IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change during the Inaugural Assembly Meeting in Brussels
[07 April 2016] Mayors, city networks and urban stakeholders worldwide call for an IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change during the IPCC 43rd Session on April 11-13.
Cities are already facing the impacts of climate change and are highly vulnerable to a range of climate hazards, including sea level rise, street flooding, landslides, droughts, epidemics and severe heat waves, which threaten the heath, well-being and livelihood of citizens. Cities are integral to fighting climate change; while they are responsible for 37–49% of global GHG emissions, and urban infrastructure accounts for over 70% of global energy use, research shows that urban policy decisions made by 2020 could determine up to a third of the remaining global carbon budget that is not already ‘locked-in’ by past decisions.
The historic Paris Agreement – the key outcome of the COP21 negotiations in December 2015 – recognized the vital role of Non-Party stakeholders, including cities, in the global response to climate change. During the Climate Summit for Local Leaders held in Paris during COP21, 440 Mayors and subnational leaders pledged to “deliver up to 3.7 gigatons of urban greenhouse gas emissions reductions annually by 2030 — the equivalent of up to 30 % of the difference between current national commitments and the 2 degree emissions reduction pathway identified by the scientific community”. Cities are already using the Compact of Mayors, which is also working in synergy with the European Covenant of Mayors, as a common global platform to measure their contributions to NDCs in terms of GHG reduction goals and climate mitigation and adaptation action plans.
The international community now has a huge opportunity to strengthen the momentum generated by COP21 and to drive urban policy-making, including during the upcoming Habitat III conference in October 2016. An IPCC Special Report on Cities and Climate Change would serve to clarify the potential governance, policy, and financial instruments to support mitigation and adaptation actions in urban areas, where more than half of the world’s population live. Such a comprehensive, global, and authoritative resource on cities and climate change represents a significant opportunity to simultaneously advance scientific knowledge, policy, and leadership at local, national and global levels. With the support of the worldwide community of city practitioners, such a report will certainly be a milestone in IPCC history. That is why we call all members of the IPCC to vote for a Special Report on Cities and Climate Change during the IPCC 43rd session next week in Nairobi.