At the initiative of United Cities and Local Governments and its partner networks, Mayors and regional Presidents called upon Heads of State to reach an agreement and affirmed the readiness of the local and other levels of government to work with them as committed and responsible partners.
At the press conference, Amos Masondo, Mayor of Johannesburg and Co-President of UCLG, insisted on the fact that ‘well-managed urban areas are an important part of the solution to climate change.’
Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of Mexico City, stated that up until now, regarding climate change, ‘cities have acted and achieved more than their national governments.’
Amazonino Mendes, Mayor of Manaus, recalled the importance of the forests and the necessity of conservation; in particular conservation of the Amazon rainforest, which he wishes to see included in the international climate agreement.
Mrs Jane Davidson, Minister of the Environment of Wales, spoke of his fight for ‘the recognition of the fundamental contribution of regional authorities for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Mayor of Nantes, applauded the recognition of local governments in the negotiating text but expressed the need to go further by involving local governments in the definition of policies.
All speakers emphasized the unity, in their objectives and recommendations, of the local and sub-national levels of government, in the framework of this Conference and in the wider picture of the global struggle against climate change and the pursuit of climate adaptation. They further stressed the enormity of the stakes at Copenhagen and the absolute necessity of reaching an ambitious agreement.
The political outcomes of Copenhagen will need to be further defined in 2010 at the next summit on climate taking place in Mexico City immediately after the third UCLG Congress in the same city.
Founded in May 2004, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government. Based in Barcelona, UCLG is the largest local government organization in the world. Representing over half the world’s population, the cities and association members of UCLG are present in 136 UN Member States across seven world regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Eurasia, Middle East and West Asia, Latin America and North America. Over 1000 cities are direct members of United Cities and Local Governments, as well as 112 national associations which represent all the cities and local governments in a single country.