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People's Climate, Mayors Commit: ICLEI joins citizens and activists calling for climate action

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability will take part in the People's Climate March on 21 September 2014. A delegation of mayors from pioneering cities will be participating to the march in New York and in cities globally.

[BONN, 19 September 2014] Happening on 21 September in New York and globally, the People's Climate March is on its way to becoming the largest and most diverse mobilization for climate action in history. To show their commitment to protecting people’s climate, a number of Mayors will join the march under the banner, “People’s Climate, Mayors Commit”. This is in line with the vision laid out in the global advocacy of the Local Government Climate Roadmap.

The march is set two days before world leaders gather in New York for the Climate Summit called by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The Summit is critical to lay the foundations for a new climate treaty that countries are expected to sign in 2015. With the impacts of climate change being felt around the world, with the solutions on the table and with growing momentum behind internationally-coordinated action to fix the crisis, the moment has come to put this issue back on top of the political agenda.

Home to half of the world’s population, cities are responsible for 75% of global energy consumption and 40-50% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They are playing a pivotal role in combating climate change by slashing these GHG emissions, building resilience and promoting sustainable alternatives to transport and energy. They will be central in ensuring that adverse effects of climate change will affect their citizens as little as possible.

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the world’s leading cities network, will participate in the People's March along with other 750 organizations, sharing its vision of local sustainability. It will mobilize mayors from around the world who will bring to New York the voices of their citizens. Mayors George Ferguson (Bristol, UK), Herbert Bautista (Quezon City, Philippines), Jürgen Nimptsch (Bonn, Germany), Frank Cownie (Des Moines, USA), Ronan Dantec (Nantes) have confirmed their attendance to the march. Many other local governments support the march. Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter and New York City Council already announced their endorsements supporting the March. Meanwhile, Mayor Gustavo Petro will lead one of the biggest marches in his city of Bogotá, capital of Colombia.

Everywhere Mayors are showing their strong commitment to tackle climate change and protect their citizens from its adverse effects. With his clear vision of energy justice and citizen participation, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson led his city to become the European Green Capital for 2015. In Bogotá, the Bus Rapid Transport system called TransMilenio is sparing the city 350,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, reducing air pollution and energy dependence. Seoul, South Korea has reduced its power needs by the equivalent of an average nuclear power plant and is investing in renewables. Its Mayor actively promoted #OccupySeoul, encouraging citizens to take active part in re-shaping the face of Korea's capital. In Bonn, the city is progressing with its plans to cut emissions by 40% and become the cycling capital of its region.

On its new online platform, CityTalk, ICLEI tells some of the challenges and stories of success of these cities, showing how mayors are spearheading a diverse movement of local governments with high ambitions, engaging their citizens to be part of a sustainable revolution. Mayors are the closest level of government to citizens. They are deeply grounded in their reality, and are committed to uphold their citizen’s safety, justice and sustainability.

CityTalk also features ICLEI’s agenda in New York. Besides engaging in the march, ICLEI is actively involved in nine action-oriented initiatives linked to the upcoming UN summit: Compact of Mayors, City Climate Finance Alliance, CCAC Municipal Solid Waste Initiative, Resilient Cities Accelerator Initiative, Carbon Pricing, Buildings Efficiency Accelerator Initiative, District Energy Accelerator Initiative, and Urban Electric Mobility Vehicles.

[QUOTES]

Only when you move, you can move the world. I am excited to be part of a Mayors Delegation joining todays People Climate March and thereby to join a global pro climate movement. On Tuesday, we will attend the Secretary Generals Climate Summit and demonstrate our commitment and engagement – via the Compact of Mayors and by carbonn, the Bonn based international reporting platform compiling initiatives and achievements of the local level worldwide." - Jürgen Nimptsch, Mayor of Bonn, Germany

"Changing the way energy is produced and used means more jobs and more equality. I want to make quite sure that everybody feels they belong to this great project and that they're welcome with their ideas about how they can actually improve their lives." - George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, UK

“When I look at the big wins of the environmental and social justice movement, local authority leadership has been needed to drive national action. So having cities leading this just transition from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy is necessary to secure adequate global climate action - which can deliver a world safe from the ravages of climate change with good jobs, clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. That's why it gives me great hope to see the leaders of our cities realize their place in this growing movement which counts parents, workers, health experts, inter-faith groups, the business community and grassroots activists as its members.” - Wael Hmaidan, Director of Climate Action Network

“Ambitious and pioneering local governments, as governmental stakeholders of the global climate regime and the closest level of administration to citizens reiterate their commitment to serve for low-carbon, low-emissions, climate-resilient sustainable urban development worldwide. This is their best contribution to the sustainability of People´s Climate and their livelihoods.” - David Cadman, ICLEI President

For press inquiries, contact:

Katrina Borromeo, Head of Communications, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, media@iclei.org, +491738682298

Ria Vorhaar, Head of International Communications Coordination, Climate Action Network rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, +49 157 3173 5568

More information at www.iclei.org/climatesummit2014 and peoplesclimate.org/march/

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