More than 300 people from 34 cities (including Seoul, Aspen of the United States, Tokyo, and Warsaw) around the world the world and officials of international bodies including the UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) and the UN-HABITAT will hold an international forum for discussions on address climate change at Seoul City Hall on Sept. 1 and 2 of this year.
The forum, which is cosponsored by Seoul and the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, is a routinized session of the World Mayors’ Forum, which was held in April 2015 during the ICLEI World Congress Seoul 2015. It serves as an occasion for cities and local governments to present and share their voluntary greenhouse reduction objectives, as well as concrete strategies for putting these objectives into practice prior to an agreement being reached by their central governments. At last year’s forum, the mayors of Johannesburg, Montreal, San Rafael, Nantes, and Paris announced how they would put their greenhouse reduction objectives into practice in consideration of their local circumstances. In his closing speech, Seoul mayor Park Won-soon declared the Seoul Action Plan, designed to urge the other cities’ positive participation.
At this year’s forum, which is held under the theme of Promises Made by Local Governments to Address Climate Change as Leaders in the Paris Climate Accord, participants will discuss what role cities and local governments can play to attain their own greenhouse reduction objectives.
The role of cities and local governments has become more important with the implementation of the New Climate Regime following the Paris Climate Accord, reached in December 2015. On Sept. 2, the last day of the forum, they will announce major proclamations and deliver them to the 22nd UNFCCC COP22 held in Marrakesh, Morocco in November this year.
On Sept. 1, the first day of the forum, Secretary General Lee Hoi-seong of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Sir David King, the United Kingdom’s permanent Special Representative for Climate Change, will deliver keynote speeches on the importance of the role of cities in addressing climate change. Their keynote speeches will be followed by mayors’ presentations and discussions of cities putting climate change objectives into practice (e.g. Seoul, Addis Ababa of Ethiopia, Simla of India, New Taipei of Taiwan, and others)
Session I will explore the role of cities in laying the basis of execution of the Paris Climate Accord (which is discussed in Session II), and Session III will discuss the promotion of low carbon resilient development through completely renewable energy.
At Session I (on Sept. 1) for introduction of exemplary cases of coping with climate change, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon will share what his city has done to address climate change, including a highly successful energy saving campaign.
At Session II (on Sept. 2), the second congress of the Global Learning City Network (GLCN) for sustainable public purchasing will be held. An interview session on how local governments will raise funds for climate action will also be held.
At Session III (on September 2), major statements will be adopted on the path to COP22 for the successful execution of the Paris Climate Accord, prior to their subsequent delivery to the 22nd UNFCCC COP22 slated for November this year.
The SMG expects that this forum will serve as momentum towards the enhancement of the role of cities and local governments in matters for resolving issues of climate change through cities of the world sharing their knowhow with each other, discussion of their new roles following the Paris Climate Accord, and more positive exchanges and cooperation among them in relevant efforts, including the expansion of sustainable public purchasing and increase in financial support.
Individuals and organizations interested in the forum may register themselves for the forum by visiting the homepage (http://www.seoulmayorsforum2016.org).