Mayor brings together major cities to take lead on climate change

4 October 2005

The World Cities Leadership Climate Change Summit, which has been organised by the Mayor of London and supported by BP, EDF Energy and Thames Water aims to kick-start long-term international collaboration on the pressing issue of climate change.  World experts including Sir David King and Jaime Lerner, will be addressing the cities. A dozen smaller cities will also showcase innovative practice, which can be applied to larger cities.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: ‘Large cities are among the most significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world – the percentage of world energy use accounted for by cities in 2005 is 75 per cent.  But it is also at the city level that innovation and progress on climate change action are most likely to be achieved.  This week’s conference brings together those city leaders who are taking the most productive and radical steps to adapt to and mitigate climate change, to share ideas and provide leadership to the rest of the world.’

Nicky Gavron Deputy Mayor of London said: ‘Leadership from national governments is crucial in tackling climate change, but when it comes to practical action on the ground cities are centre stage. Cities have a special responsibility to cut emissions because they are huge consumers of energy and uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. And as the urgency for action increases, we cities need to build wider and stronger links across the world. That is why the Mayor and I are hosting the World Leadership Cities Climate Summit, to accelerate co-operation between cities committed to action.’

‘London can learn from the experience of other cities, especially as the new London Climate Change Agency gets underway.  I want to see this London summit as the start of long term international city collaboration on climate change.’

Steve Howard, Chief Executive of The Climate Group said  “More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities. We are fast becoming an urban world and so cities must play a pivotal role in leading on climate change action if we are to combat this problem. We will not be able to solve climate change without cities taking a central role. Cities are already reducing emissions, improving their transport systems and greening their energy use. This makes environmental as well as financial sense. The City Summit should add significant momentum to the scaling up of these actions, which The Climate Group wholly supports and welcomes.”
 
Mayors and senior figures from major cities across the world have been invited to attend and the summit will give the opportunity to exchange ideas and experience on both climate adaptation and mitigation strategies that work in large cities. It will stimulate new commitments from city governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their own facilities, buildings and fleets. It will develop procurement alliances and will foster an informal coalition among the largest world cities that seeks proactive partnerships with national governments.

The Mayor is offsetting the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from all travel to the summit. The European Climate Exchange (ECX) has purchased and retired 300 tonnes of CO2 permits on behalf of the Mayor of London.

Notes to Editors

1. The World Cities Leadership Climate Change Summit is taking place in London on Monday 3rd October until Wednesday 5th October. The summit is supported by BP, EDF Energy and Thames Water in association with ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) BP and the Climate Group.
2. The world cities taking part are London, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Chicago, Curitiba, Delhi, Florida, Kingston – Jamaica, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, Saint Denis, San Francisco, San Paulo, Shanghai, Stockholm, Toronto, Victoria – Australia, Zurich.
3. Thames Water is proud to be a sponsor of The World  Cities Leadership Climate Change Summit 2005.  As the largest Water and Wastewater services company in the UK ,we are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through energy management and development of our renewable energy generation.
4. BP, one of the world’s leading energy companies, is committed to supporting a sustainable agenda and views this as an integral part of securing its own long term future.   The company has sought to lead in various ways – by cutting the greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations by some 10% over the last seven years; by reducing the carbon intensity of its products; by developing zero-carbon energy – such as hydrogen, renewables, and power generation with carbon dioxide capture; and by supporting research into ways of addressing climate change, such as the work at Princeton University, which has shown how GHG emissions might be stabilised by 2050 using available technologies.
5. EDF Energy is one of the largest energy companies in the UK and touches the lives of millions of people every minute of every day. EDF Energy is responsible for generating about 7% of the UK electricity demand from its portfolio, which includes coal and gas power stations, wind farms and combined heat and power plant (CHP). It supplies gas and electricity to over five million customers through its brands EDF Energy, London Energy, SWEB Energy and Seeboard Energy. EDF Energy is actively helping to support the Mayor’s Energy Strategy through membership of the London Energy Partnership, advice given to the Olympic bid team on sustainability and addressing the needs of the fuel poor through the award winning EDF Energy Warm Zone programme. Through partnership with the local authorities this eradicates fuel poverty on a household by household basis.
6. ECX Associate Membership Ltd is the company that has bought the carbon credits for the Greater London Authority. ECX Associate Membership Ltd are committed to assisting companies and organisations around the world to develop market based strategies for reducing and trading greenhouse gas emissions.
7. The Climate Group has today released a comprehensive report on what key cities are doing to cut emissions. The publication is full of the latest facts and figures looking in detail at some of the cities which have taken a leadership role.   For a copy of this report please call The Climate Group on 00 44 1932 268309 or go to www.theclimategroup.org.