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Digital Subscriptions > > City leaders demand more financial support on climate change

City leaders demand more financial support on climate change

With 185 countries having submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, and 195 countries adopting the Paris Agreement from COP21, Jonathan Andrews asked a select panel what the agreement means for cities
The agreement is seen as a big step forward as nations are now ready to commit

What are your thoughts on the COP21 agreement?

Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change

The global climate agreement reached in Paris was a big step forward. The agreement shows that nations are ready and willing to cooperate in the battle against climate change. Together with the commitments made by cities and businesses, the Paris agreement also sends a clear signal to the world’s financial markets, which will help spur greater private sector investment in lowcarbon technology and infrastructure.

That said, COP21 was a mid-term, not a final exam. While the agreement creates a framework for how the world can meet the challenge of climate change, the hard work is still ahead.

Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

The agreement is a major breakthrough. It is incredible to gain the consensus of so many countries on anything, but to gain such a positive agreement on climate change was immense. The aspiration to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius was particularly welcome. But of course the independent national commitments come nowhere near to what is needed to achieve that target, and the enforcement mechanisms of the agreement itself are weak and don’t come into force until 2020. That is why the role of cities and other non-state actors is so significant. Mayors in power now are critical to getting the world onto a low carbon pathway. Fortunately, cities are ramping up action already, we reported 10,000 individual climate actions taken by C40 cities since the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009, demonstrating the speed with which cities are moving.

Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director, US Conference of Mayors

America’s mayors have been advocating for an agreement like this one for the last several years. In 2005, when the Kyoto Protocol went into effect for 141 nations and the US wasn’t one of them, we gathered 141 US cities to agree to similar targets in the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Since then, we’ve had over 1,000 mayors sign in the US, and our agreement has been the model for others like it around the world.

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