More than 50 mayors from around the world, including 36 from the United States, have gathered at the North American Climate Summit and signed the Chicago Climate Charter, a first-of-its-kind international charter on climate change that seeks to allow cities to commit to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was joined at the North American Climate Summit, held this week, by mayoral leaders from around the world, including Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and Vice Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors Christiana Figueres, to sign the Chicago Climate Charter which now represents more than 50 cities and tens of millions of people around the world. By signing the Charter, mayors are committing to the following general provisions:
- Achieve a percent reduction in carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement;
- Quantify, track and publicly report city emissions, consistent with standards
- and best practices of measurement and transparency;
- Advocate alongside other mayors for greater local authority and flexibility to develop policies and local laws that empower cities to take aggressive action on climate;
- Recognize and include groups traditionally underrepresented in climate policy;
- Incorporate the realities of climate change and its impacts into local infrastructure and emergency planning through strategies of adaptation and resilience;
- Support strong regional, state and federal policies and partnerships, as well as private sector initiatives, that incentivize the transition to a new climate economy; and
- Partner with experts, communities, businesses, environmental justice groups, advocates and other allies to develop holistic climate mitigation and resilience solutions.
The signed Charter can be seen here (PDF).
“Rather than burying our heads in the sand, Chicago is working with cities across the country and around the world to address the threat of climate change,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The Chicago Climate Charter represents tens of million residents who are committed to confronting climate change head-on. Even as Washington fails to act, cities have the power and will to take decisive action to protect our planet and the health and safety of our residents.”
“The North American Climate Summit sends a timely message to leaders around the world that cities are taking strong, swift and measurable action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, ensure their communities are more resilient and transition their local economies to benefit from a low-carbon world,” added Global Covenant of Mayors Vice-Chair Christiana Figueres. “Cities and local governments have a critical role to play in stepping up ambition on climate change, and it is very encouraging to see so many coming to the table as we head into the 2018 Stock Take year.”
The increasing local-level support for the Paris Climate Agreement spreading across the United States in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the country out of Agreement. Most recently, American climate leaders gathered in Bonn, Germany, at the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23), to publicly declare their support and continued commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement moving forward. On the sidelines of COP23, California Governor Jerry Brown and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg also launched “America’s Pledge on climate change” — a new initiative intended to identify and quantify the actions of states, cities, and business throughout the United States aimed at driving down their respective greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Speaking from Chicago this week, Michael Bloomberg said: “This Charter is a great example of how cities are working together and encouraging one another to aim higher, and it will add momentum to America’s progress fighting climate change. All the US cities signing the charter are making commitments in support of America’s Pledge — which sends a strong signal to the world that we will keep moving forward toward our Paris goal, with or without Washington. I want to thank Mayor Emanuel for spearheading this effort and for leading by example through his work in Chicago.”