Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon attended the World Mayors Summit on Climate Change held in Paris at 5:35 p.m. (local time) on December 4 in the capacity of Chair of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and led the development of the “Paris City Hall Declaration: A Decisive Contribution to COP 21,” which was jointly adopted by mayors and governors from around the world in order to renew their commitment to achieving substantial reductions in greenhouse gases.
The summit was held in Paris City Hall with over 800 people in attendance, including notable figures such as Mayor Park Won Soon, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and Mr. Michael Bloomberg, who served as the UN General Secretary’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, as well as representatives of three urban networks (i.e. ICLEI, C40, and UCLG), mayors, local government officials, representatives of NGOs, and private sector experts.
The declaration points out that it is the joint responsibility of all people of the world to find solutions to climate change and that the matter is an issue of rights, equality, development, and social justice. Also, it includes detailed strategies to increase the resilience of cities and their capability to adapt to the increase in climate-related disasters by 2020 and an action plan for the provision of support to local communities for their complete conversion to new and renewable energy by 2050.
Mayor Park took part as a panelist in the panel discussion held as part of the opening session at 9:00 a.m. on December 4 under the theme “City Solutions.” The mayors of Rio de Janeiro, Dakar, and Istanbul also attended the discussion.
In his presentation, Mayor Park said, “The Earth has already become a huge network of cities. Therefore, local governments should take small, yet meaningful steps beyond borders to cope with climate change in creative ways and with a strong sense of responsibility. All of us should ‘think globally, act locally.’ The climate change crisis must be addressed through the cooperation of all cities the world over. As the chair city of the ICLEI, Seoul will lead the effort to achieve substantial greenhouse gases reductions.”