From nature-based solutions for urban development in Tirana, a smart urban development online platform in Prague, and the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 action plan to Torino’s “Climathon” citizen engagement initiative – all over the UNECE region cities are stepping up to combat the challenges of climate change with innovative solutions to common problems.
Cities are ideally placed to address the challenges posed by global heating. Today, cities consume roughly 60% of the planet’s energy and generate 70% of greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Making cities more energy-efficient and carbon-neutral will therefore have a huge impact on the global consequences of climate change. While many cities are making great progress on their own, a platform to exchange ideas and lessons learned could further accelerate cities’ climate action.
In recognition of the importance of multi-level, governmental collaboration and exchange, UNECE is stepping up its actions for cities and climate change by convening a “Forum of Mayors”. On 6 October 2020, mayors from all 56 UNECE member States located in Europe, North America and Central Asia, will be invited to the Bâtiment des Forces Mortices in the heart of Geneva to discuss challenges, solutions and opportunities for combatting climate change on a local level.
The forum will take place on the first day of the 81st Session of the UNECE Committee on Urban Development Housing and Land Management (CUD), which decided in October 2019 to convene two forums in 2020 and 2021 following discussions at the Day of Cities.
Once concluded, the Forum will submit its recommendations on how to address global heating challenges faced by local authorities in the UNECE region to the Committee. These recommendations will then help shape the Intergovernmental Committee’s policy priorities and program activities.
An urban focus in the context of climate change is particularly important as the UNECE region is among the most highly urbanized in the world, with some 75% of the population already living in cities. By strengthening engagement with these key actors, the Forum of Mayors will enrich UNECE’s support for sustainable urban development, housing and land management, which are key dimensions for the 2030 Agenda.
For more information on the Forum of Mayors, please visit: https://www.unece.org/housing/forumofmayors2020.html