BALI – With the eyes of the world on Bali’s climate change negotiations, world mayors and local governments launched a global Agreement on Climate Change.
The Agreement was announced by Vancouver Cllr and President of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) David Cadman, London Deputy-Mayor Nicky Gavron and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson at the end of yesterday’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.
The Agreement, which outlines six commitments to address climate change, is endorsed by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change, United Cities and Local Governments, and the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group. Together these organizations represent a majority of world cities and local governments.
"Today more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban centres and consumes more than 75 percent of all energy," said Cadman. "Cities are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially fast growing cities in developing countries."
As president of ICLEI, Cadman is a key player in the Local Government Climate Sessions which is seen as crucial by many of the 10,000 international delegates who are in Bali to begin the process of negotiating a new international climate change agreement for the post-Kyoto period
At the announcement of the Agreement, Salt Lake City Mayor Anderson also called on world leaders to adopt binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are now calling on all national governments to join the international community in undertaking binding carbon limits to rapidly and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short-term and by at least 60 percent worldwide below 1990 levels by 2050. ”
The World Mayors call for all states, including industrialized countries, to cut emissions, appears to be another challenge to Canada at Bali.
Yesterday Conservative Environment Minister John Baird said Canada will try to stop the international community from recognizing the "unequivocal scientific evidence" that developed countries must drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Canada has been severely criticized at Bali for its stance on climate change.
"The Canadian government under Harper now stands as one of the villains of the story of global climate change," said UK commentator George Monbiot. "As people wake up to just how bad its policies are, it will be seen increasingly as being in the same league as George Bush’s government."
Earlier, Canada was lumped in with Saudi Arabia and the United States and given the "Fossil of the Day Awards" at the start of the Bali talks. Recipients were given a small sack of coal adorned with their national flags at the mock ceremony.
The awards, a feature of annual Kyoto Protocol gatherings, are presented by youth delegations from around the world to heap scorn on nations accused of having less-than-green views.
Canada, which ratified Kyoto but failed to meet its targets, was criticized for saying that emission reduction obligations are not necessary for some of the largest emitting countries.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, won its award for being the most obstructive. The US, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, earned its award for "blocking the international effort to fight climate change."
More information on ICLEI: Tanya Imola <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To access the World Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, please go to: www.climateprotectionagreement.org.