Frontrunner cities and industry leaders join forces in Copenhagen towards COP21 in Paris

Date: 17 December 2014

On December 9, the City of Copenhagen convened representatives from Europe’s green frontrunner cities, major international clean-tech companies and global city network organisations to debate a common approach towards the COP21 climate summit in Paris in 2015.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has clearly formulated the need for comprehensive and immediate action to reduce the human causes of climate change. While nations are currently meeting in Lima for COP20 to talk about the long overdue need for climate action, cities are already acting and collaborating on this issue. They are leading the world by reducing emissions significantly, testing and developing new clean-tech solutions and promoting green growth – together with industry partners.

“Cities can contribute significantly to bridging the global emissions gap –with emissions reduction of up to two-thirds the impact of recent national policies and actions. Frontrunner cities around the world already have far more ambitious reduction goals than national governments,” said Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40.

Up to 70% of carbon emissions come from cities, and the immense impact and costs of climate change are already felt by urban citizens. Severe drought and cloud bursts are a reality in many cities and urban areas globally. At the same time, industries in urban areas are instrumental to finding the solutions to combating climate change. Visionary partnerships, knowledge exchange and international collaboration between businesses and cities are vital to identifying and advancing concrete solutions.

“Cities act, collaborate and lead but can only reach their ambitious goals through visionary collaboration with industry partners and continued dismantling of national and international barriers to city legislation and initiatives reducing emissions,” said Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs, Morten Kabell, City of Copenhagen.

The participants in the meeting in Copenhagen called for national governments to take ambitious action, and to facilitate the continued effort of cities and industries to find local solutions to address climate change.

Copenhagen is European Green Capital 2014 and strives at becoming the first carbon neutral capital in the world by 2025. Copenhagen is committed to reducing climate change and its effects globally, and has therefore initiated this debate and call for action in collaboration with ICLEI and C40.

Business calls for reaching a global climate agreement at COP21 in Paris in 2015. Businesses and cities worldwide are leading the way by developing products and solutions for greener and more energy efficient cities. Their experience should pave the way for an agreement in Paris,” Thomas Bustrup, Deputy Director General, Confederation of Danish Industry.

C40 is a global network of the world’s megacities taking action on greenhouse gas emissions. C40 represents 700 million citizens worldwide. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability represents a network of more than 1,000 cities, towns, and metropolises committed to building a sustainable future. The Confederation of Danish Industry represents some of the most innovative clean-tech companies in the world.

Source: City of Copenhagen / State of Green