The world’s regions are in the frontline in the battle against climate change – that was the message sent from a conference of local authorities in Lyon, France last week (World Summit Climate and Territories) to national negotiators who will be taking part in the forthcoming COP21 global climate summit in Paris .
The declaration was signed by 50 organisations (municipal/regional authorities, civic society and private sector) representing two thirds of the world’s population.
“We’re saying to the states ‘without action by your regions you will not live up to your commitments, said Ronan Dantec, representing The Global Network of Cities, Local and Regional Governments
“It’s in the territories that the climate change battle will be won or lost. So we’re saying at this point we are ready to do the job, undertake the commitments, we will do the job. But we also say: we need a number of tools, including additional funding for the southern areas. So it’s a summit that makes commitments and delivers messages.”
Green business boon
A crucial point to get across is that combating global warming can be profitable in its own right, according to Matthew Rodriguez, the Secretary for the Environmental Protection of California. The US state is the world’s seventh largest world economy and wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030. It’s a commitment based on solid economics, Rodriguez believes: “Our work on clean tech and environmental programmes has drawn money to California. We bring in about 5.7 billions dollars in venture capital investments in clean tech every year. Right now our solar industry provides 65,000 jobs in California so we see this change in our environmental programmes and the changing of the base of our economy to a carbonless economy is actually going to be promoting economic growth.”
In their declaration, the cities and regional authorities called for new resources to finance the transition to a low-carbon economy. For the top UN delegate, guarantees are needed to get the private sector on board.
Pressure from regions