A “COP of cities” to fight against climate change – Liberation

It is urgent: a hundred mayors from cities around the world, including Anne Hidalgo, will meet in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast on July 1 and 2 to create the conditions for a broader dialogue, with the most vulnerable as a priority.

To talk about climate change is always to call up the latest catastrophic events that we are facing. Think of the heat wave that made India and Pakistan bend recently, think of those that are in the process of affecting Europe, not a month goes by without a signal of alert is issued. Floods, heat waves, fires. Earlier, more intense, more devastating, these episodes remind us more and more of our fragility and the urgency to act.

COP 26 in Glasgow did not live up to expectations. Inability to raise the level of ambition, inability to stabilize what is necessary in terms of solidarity with the States of the South, we have been invited to the spectacle of slow multilateralism.

The urgency is there, the threat is getting closer, the IPCC reports leave no escape. Global warming is unquestionably of human origin. Limiting it to 1.5°C can only be envisaged at the cost of rapid and massive changes. The worst is not certain, but success imposes a decarbonization trajectory from which we are still far.

To the background noise of this threat, ever more muted, is added that of the crises which have invited themselves where they were no longer expected. Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. In too many countries, these crises have led to favoring what is “here and now”. However, we must continue to embrace the climate issue before it is too late.

We need promises kept and resources. We need a systemic response so that climate migration does not lead to more uncontrollable cascading effects. Failure to investigate these issues exposes us to the risk of falling out with vulnerable countries. However, we must stay together, it is humanity that is at stake.

Let everyone take their part

It is now important to find new balances, first and foremost the construction of a broader multilateralism that allows everyone to play their part.

The cities are there, they always have been, even in dark times. They are rolling up their sleeves with the means at their disposal to cope. They invent, they create, they get local actors on board to invent a model of society that takes local resources into account.

Cities, including those with the smallest budgets, are full of ideas. Resources are created, sometimes the product of public policies, sometimes of a citizen upsurge, carried by informal networks. It is these riches that allow optimism.

Today, means are on the table but do not always find their destination. Funding frameworks built on banking logic do not always meet the guarantees that cities are able to offer. Without confronting these structural difficulties, it is a group of towns that are kept out of development aid.

Today we need to create the conditions for a broader dialogue, a vector of exchange, justice and attention to the most vulnerable. This is why the “COP of cities” will be held July 1 and 2 in Abidjan around a hundred mayors of cities around the world gathered for the occasion.

It will be held on a continent affected like no other by climate change and which only asks for one thing: to put its dynamism, its creativity and its youth at the service of the general interest. You can count on us, the mayors of cities around the world.

You can count on our vigilance, on our determination to do everything in our power to change the course of things.

The petitioners : Anne Hidalgo Mayor of Paris, Robert Beugre Mambe Governor of the Autonomous District of Abidjan, Souad Abderrahim Sheikh El Medina of Tunis, LaToya Cantrell Mayor of New Orleans, Philippe Close Mayor of Brussels, Frank Cownie President of Local Governments for Sustainability (Iclei) and Mayor of the City of Des Moines, USA, Willy Demeyer Mayor of Liège, Franziska Giffey Mayor, Governor of Berlin, Roberto Gualtieri Mayor of Rome, Ron Huldai Mayor of Tel-Aviv-Yafo, Gregoire Junod Lausanne Trustee, Sadiq Khan Mayor of London and Chairman of C40, Fatimetou Abdel Malik President of the Nouakchott region and President of UCLG-A, Carlos Coins Mayor of Lisbon, Maxime Prevot Member of Parliament and Mayor of Namur, Rafal Trzaskowski Mayor of Warsaw.

Source: Libération by www.liberation.fr.

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