On his way back from Johannesburg, the Secretary General, UCLG Africa, participated on 26 March 2015 in a meeting of European mayors on Climate change at the Paris City Hall at the invitation of Ms. Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.
The meeting was the opportunity for numerous European cities to exchange on cities initiatives on reduction of green gas emission, the adoption of renewable sources of energy and actions around smart solutions in transport in particular with the adoption and extension of electric cars, climate adaptation plans, urbanism through extension of pedestrian areas in cities, promotion of green and circular local economies.
The meeting discussed the role of public procurement to harness a more sustainable development path for the European cities aiming at meeting the commitment to reduce green gas emission got at least 5 % per annum. The meeting gathered over 30 major cities of Europe. The meeting was addressed by the President of the Republic of France, Mr. François Hollande. He stressed the importance of mayors and local authorities in the fight against Global Warming. He said that the Philippines witnessed around 350 cyclones. In Vanuatu 90% of the territory was destroyed by the recent cyclone. This why it is important to be aware of the reduced window of opportunity to act.
The COP21 is a turning point. France is working towards a mandatory agreement for the reduction of global warming. Europe can show the way through the objective defined by the Union on energy and its contribution for the reduction of global warming. The other countries has expected to produce their contribution, including USA and China. What is expected is the production of an agenda of solutions, in particular from cities and local governments. Cities are called after to become sustainable cities.
In the agenda of solutions there will be a census of best practices and cooperation around climate change investments. Cities should also be at the fore for mobilizing the different cities and the other stakeholders in order that what will be difficult negotiations will need the support of everybody in order that the world adopts a new transition model towards a more sustainable development path. This is the only way to get a world that is more just and sustainable.