European Mayors gather in Paris to pledge joint action in the fight against climate change
Mayor Hidalgo this week met with representatives from 30 European capitals and major cities to voice their shared commitment against climate change.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo, alongside Ignazio Marino, Mayor of Rome, welcomed representatives from cities all across Europe to Paris City Hall, to formalise their commitments to the environment and to emphasize the role major urban centers play in the fight against climate change. This meeting is just one step in the calendar of preparatory events leading up to the COP21 climate conference, which will take place in Paris this December.
French President Francois Hollande was present to address the European mayors, stating that major cities must be "pioneers" in terms of low-emission practices. Also in attendance were Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius; the Mayors of Rome, Athens, Brussels, Bucharest, Geneva, Lisbon, Madrid, Sofia, Stockholm, Warsaw, Vienna, Lyon and Bordeaux; and the EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Canete, who commended the cities present as "world leaders in sustainability".
Each city representative arrived at the City Hall in an Autolib’ decorated in the colours of their country. During the afternoon they visited some of the landmarks of Paris' commitment to climate, such as the Clichy-Batignolles urban development project, the Halle Pajol, and the redeveloped banks of the Seine.
Joint solutions to fight climate change.
Alongside bodies such as C40, ICLEI, Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, CGLU, CCRE, AFCCRE, and Eurocities, the city representatives will launch a joint initiative to coordinate public investment in 'green' industry sectors, such as electric modes of transport and renewable energy.
The cities also committed to making group purchases of items such as electric buses and refuse collection vehicles, in pursuit of environmentally-friendly economies of scale. This coordination of procurement contracts should drive down prices and put pressure on the private industrial sector to produce in a cleaner and more sustainable manner. This shared action will focus on key areas where cities have significant purchasing power and where the carbon impact is greater, such as transport, construction and energy.
30 European cities engage in the fight against climate change
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo)
A joint statement entitled "In response to a global climate challenge, a European commitment and local solutions", signed by 26 European mayors was published on March 26th in La Libre Belgique (Belgium), 24 Chasa (Bulgaria), El Pais (Spain), Le Monde (France), The Irish Times (Ireland), La Repubblica (Italy), The Times of Malta (Malta), Publico (Portugal), Jurnalul national (Romania) and Delo (Slovenia).
A declaration adopted by a show of hands
At the end of the summit, the city representatives from all 28 EU member states adopted - through a show of hands - a joint declaration against climate change. This declaration calls on global cities to curb their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030, in compliance with EU climate and energy targets.
The key commitments made by the European cities in the declaration were:
to regularly report their efforts in the fight against climate change
to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 40% before 2030
To increase cooperation and sharing of experiences with cities all across the world
to give priority to investments in sectors that are primarily responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, such as construction, energy supply, and waste recovery.
The full calendar of events leading up to the COP21 is outlined here: