Frontrunner Cities and Industry Leaders Join Forces in Copenhagen on a United Approach towards COP21 in Paris

09.12.2014
COP21 climate summit in Paris in 2015.

On December 9 2014, the City of Copenhagen will convene representatives from Europe’s green frontrunner cities, major international clean-tech companies and global city network organisations to debate a common approach towards the COP21 climate summit in Paris in 2015.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has clearly formulated the need for comprehensive and immediate action to reduce the human causes of climate change. While nations are currently meeting in Lima for COP20 to talk about the long overdue need for climate action, cities are already acting and collaborating on this issue. They are leading the world by reducing emissions significantly, testing and developing new clean-tech solutions and promoting green growth - together with industry partners.

“Cities can contribute significantly to bridging the global emissions gap –with emissions reduction of up to two-thirds the impact of recent national policies and actions. Frontrunner cities around the world already have far more ambitious reduction goals than national governments,” said Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40.

Up to 70% of carbon emissions come from cities, and the immense impact and costs of climate change are already felt by urban citizens. Severe drought and cloud bursts are a reality in many cities and urban areas globally. At the same time, industries in urban areas are instrumental to finding the solutions to combating climate change. Visionary partnerships, knowledge exchange and international collaboration between businesses and cities are vital to identifying and advancing concrete solutions.

“Cities act, collaborate and lead but can only reach their ambitious goals through visionary collaboration with industry partners and continued dismantling of national and international barriers to city legislation and initiatives reducing emissions,” said Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs, Morten Kabell, City of Copenhagen.

The participants in today’s meeting in Copenhagen will call for national governments to take ambitious action, and to facilitate the continued effort of cities and industries to find local solutions to address climate change. Participants include:

Oslo: Governing Mayor, Stian Berger Røsland

Bristol: Mayor, George Ferguson

Lisbon:  Deputy Mayor, José sá Fernandes

Copenhagen: Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs, Morten Kabell

 

Siemens:  CEO, Jukka Pertola

Ramboll: Group CEO, Jens-Peter Saul

Danfoss: President District Energy, Lars Tveen

Velux: Vice President, Corporate Stakeholder Communication & Sustainability, Ingrid Reumert

 

C40, Executive Director, Mark Watts

ICLEI: Regional Director for Europe and CEO, Wolfgang Teubner

Confederation of Danish Industry: Thomas Bustrup, Deputy Director General

 

C40 is a global network of the world’s megacities taking action on greenhouse gas emissions. C40 represents 700 million citizens worldwide. ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability represents a network of more than 1,000 cities, towns, and metropolises committed to building a sustainable future. The Confederation of Danish Industry represents some of the most innovative clean-tech companies in the world.

Copenhagen is European Green Capital 2014 and strives at becoming the first carbon neutral capital in the world by 2025. Copenhagen is committed to reducing climate change and its effects globally, and has therefore initiated this debate and call for action in collaboration with ICLEI and C40.

 

Quotes by Participants

“I hope we will have global agreement after COP in Paris next year. We do not know exactly what such an agreement will consist of or how ambitious it will be, but what we do know is that it will not bring us the emissions reductions needed to reach the 2-degrees target. The national governments needs to acknowledge the efforts made by the cities and includes us. We can and we want to deliver additional emissions reductions, and many of them can be delivered fast,” Stian Berger Røsland, Governing Mayor, Oslo

"Business calls for reaching a global climate agreement at COP21 in Paris in 2015. Businesses and cities worldwide are leading the way by developing products and solutions for greener and more energy efficient cities. Their experience should pave the way for an agreement in Paris," Thomas Bustrup, Deputy Director General, Confederation of Danish Industry

“As buildings account for around 40% of energy demand they can deliver a major part of the world’s emission reductions. A sharpened focus on energy efficiency in buildings could be one key to get the globe right on track again.  We just need to be smart and ensure we don’t compromise on people’s health,” Ingrid Reumert, Vice President of Corporate Communication & Sustainability, the VELUX Group.

 “We will carry forward the message from the cities gathered in Copenhagen today to COP21 in Paris, where Bristol, European Green Capital 2015,will have the honour of hosting a pavilion showcasing the leading role that cities are taking to create a low carbon future,” George Ferguson, Mayor, Bristol

“Cities are home to more than half the people on the planet and a key driver of change. As we take action to reduce CO2 emissions, we should also seek to improve people’s lives. Cities can only achieve their visions for environmentally friendly and sustainable development by adopting a long term approach to planning decisions and by creating strong partnerships between city leaders, users, and businesses,” Jens-Peter Saul, Group CEO, Ramboll

“Cities have an extra responsibility to combat climate change. It is where the energy consumption levels are higher, where the most people live and work, where pollution is more intense, but also where extreme weather phenomena will have more impact. This reality could be even worse in Southern Europe. Cities must quickly adapt to this new way of living, and the only way is the Green way,” José sá Fernandes, Deputy Mayor, Lisbon