To support the realization of the Paris Agreement, the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors announced the formation of a single ambitious global initiative: the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM). This alliance, launched on 22 March 2017, emphasizes the importance of climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience, as well as increasing access to sustainable, affordable and clean energy. The initiative reinforces the fact that mayors and local leaders are a leading force in tackling climate change and their cities and towns are making strides to scale up their efforts. Their show of true leadership and ambitious action is key in meeting or even exceeding the target put forward by the global community.
The GCoM is the largest, global coalition of mayors and local officials with 7,436 committed cities and towns from 121 countries, representing more than 677,738,000 people – 9% of the world population. Cities and towns engaged in the GCoM are raising climate ambitions, advancing climate justice and paving the way for a better quality of life and economic development in their communities. They are leading by example, serving as models of climate transparency and accountability. As service providers, they are transformation drivers, using strategy, policy and regulations. As leaders of their communities working with many stakeholders, they can stimulate change across sectors while engaging citizens, NGOs, business and industry.
The GCoM Board comprises nine pioneering mayors, each of whom represents an active ICLEI Member. They represent their respective regions, also showing their commitment to local climate action and global collaboration among local leaders.
The GCoM is an important platform for local governments to demonstrate their collective impact on the global stage – and to share their progress through consistent, public reporting. Focusing on the sectors where GCoM cities and towns have the greatest impact, the GCoM supports ambitious, relevant solutions that are locally implemented and globally impactful. The role of city networks such as ICLEI is to support their committed members, offering technical assistance and guiding reporting on the carbonn Climate Registry (cCR).
Local efforts not only complement the actions of national governments, but, as primary influencers over sectors that greatly impact greenhouse gas emissions, they are at center stage. It is therefore crucial that local governments gain access to capacity building, to finance and various economic development opportunities, which GCoM advocates, and where ICLEI acts. If local leaders have the resources to act, they can catalyze even greater action to implement solutions that reduce emissions and increase resilience.
Ambitious city driven coalitions such as GCoM and committed local leaders such as its board members are an invaluable force in shaping the change that we, as ICLEI, engage in and work towards. We welcome this new global alliance with the certainty that our joint efforts will tackle climate change.