In the wake of the horrific attacks on Paris, resilient city leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to working together on some of the world’s greatest challenges. Be it terrorism or climate change, cities are often best situated to act boldly towards meaningful solutions. Proof of this is evident as Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg come together to host the Climate Summit for Local Leaders.
The goal of the summit is simple: to provide mayors who are committed to bold climate action a voice and a platform on which to be heard. In the past the reasons for leading on climate varied—from ideological, political, and even religious or moral. However, increasingly, the main impetus for action is practical. The majority of world cities are in low-lying coastal or river basins, are more susceptible to flooding, and are at greater risk to sea level changes. Because of this, there has been a strong call to action. Leaders are working to transition to low-carbon economies, committing to renewable energy, and investing in green infrastructure.
The results of climate leadership at the city level are clear. Cities become cleaner, more resilient, and better places to live. Residents are provided with better transit systems and mobility, more access to green jobs, and a cleaner, healthier living environment. The Climate Summit for Local Leaders shows the promise of local climate leadership. Find out how to get your city more involved in climate solutions by visiting Path to Positive Communities.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris, the U.N.'s global conference on climate change that will take place there next week has become more important than ever. The conference presents a unique opportunity for world leaders to express their support for the people of Paris, and to re-affirm their shared commitment to addressing common threats.
As the U.N. conference gets underway, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and I will co-host the first ever Climate Summit for Local Leaders. We organized the summit to ensure that mayors — who overwhelmingly favor bold action on climate change and are leading by example — have their voices heard by those negotiating a global agreement. Cities are on the front lines of the battle against climate change, just as they are with terrorism. By attending the summit, mayors will be making a statement about their determination to win both battles.
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