Mexico City Mayor Ebrard Calls for Greater Role for World's Mayors in Future UN Climate Change Negotiations
By Kay Scrimger
February 1, 2010
Addressing the Mayors and Business Leaders Breakfast on January 22, Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard emphasized the central role of mayors in climate protection and urged a stronger role for mayors in United Nations climate change negotiations.
"At the Copenhagen climate change talks in December, national governments failed to reach agreement on a global, binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," he said.
"In Copenhagen, we [mayors] were not at the negotiating table with world leaders…. We cannot leave this issue to national governments only."
"Mayors know and understand firsthand the risks and realities of climate change," and thus need to have a stronger voice in the United Nations Climate Change Conference negotiations," he said.
The mayor pointed out that cities account for two-thirds of the world's total energy use, and many cities are meeting this responsibility with bold action. For example, Mexico City's goal is to reduce GHG emission by seven million tons between 2008 and 2012. "We are investing nearly one billion dollars a year to make Mexico City one of the world's most sustainable cities." He emphasized that many other mayors are implementing similar initiatives.
Since becoming the mayor of Mexico City in December 2006, Ebrard has developed a multi-year Climate Action Program for his city to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, better manage solid waste, and encourage more sustainable use of resources.
"Mexico City is expanding public transportation systems, investing in new energy-related infrastructure, protecting high-value environmental lands, and encouraging businesses and citizens to adopt climate-friendly behaviors," he said.
Mayors need to be able to "work alongside the United Nations and our national governments, not only to successfully negotiate an agreement, but to ensure that cities will have the resources to implement it."
Mexico will host the Conference of the Parties (COP) 16 United Nations Climate Change Conference, November 29-December 10, 2010.
Ebrard pledged that in the months ahead, he will work with U.S. Conference of Mayors leadership to enable the world's mayors have a greater role in the COP 16 U.N. meeting in Mexico.
Ebrard was elected new Chair of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change in December 2009 in Copenhagen. The Vice Chair of the organization is Bonn, Germany Mayor Jurgen Nimptsch. The Council is an alliance of more than 30 committed local government leaders, representing a network of local governments working to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.