World Environment Day 2014: Cities and regions, the greatest challenge and hope for a sustainable future

 Follow it on Twitter #WED2014

World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Many of the solutions to the challenges of climate change and urbanization are found in cities themselves. UCLG and its members celebrate WED 2014 with the conviction that cities represent both the greatest challenge and the greatest hope for a sustainable future. 

The density and innovative capacity of cities provide a unique opportunity for cities and local and regional governments to promote more sustainable consumption and production patterns. Local governments are leading on climate change from the bottom up. Through effective urban governance and planning, they are harnessing the agglomeration advantages of cities to limit urban sprawl, and reduce disaster risk and greenhouse gas emissions.

As a political voice of local and regional governments in the international arena, UCLG is active in the Local Government Climate Roadmap, an advocacy process of local and regional governments networks, which aims to ensure that a strong and ambitious global climate regime is designed and implemented for the post-Kyoto framework and in view of the Climate Negotiations.

The Nantes Declaration of Mayors and Sub-national Leaders on Climate Change, adopted by representatives from 30 countries, renews the messages of the constituency and reaffirms the commitments to scale up climate actions, urge engagement with the global level on climate change, and enhance access to finance.

On the occasion of the WED, UCLG and its members express the commitment to contribute to facing the challenges of Climate Change by promoting mitigation measures and developing sound adaptation and resilience plans around the local and regional authorities the world round.  

UCLG further highlights the call of the Global Taskforce of Regional and Local Governments for a single and universal development agenda that should include a stand-alone goal on Sustainable Urbanization for 2015.

On this festive day, UCLG would like to congratulate all members committed to playing an active role in tackling Climate Change for their work done up until now, particularly under the Mexico Pact, the European Covenant of Mayors and the Carbonn initiative.

We look forward to continue working further with all networks in the Global Taskforce and with our partners at the UN in particular UN HABITAT, UNEP and UNFCCC​ towards the Climate Summit in September 2014, and COPs 20 and 21 in Lima and Paris respectively. In particular, we would like to mention sister-organizations such as ICLEI, C40 and nrg4SD on this special day, for their positive environmental action.  

For more info, please check out the contribution of local and regional leaders on urban sustainable environment  to the global agenda.

Follow the World Environment Day 2014 on Twitter #WED2014


World Environment Day 2014