Brasília, April 19, 2023 — Cities and local governments worldwide are taking bold steps to address climate change and promote sustainable development. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy initiative is playing a critical role in supporting and amplifying these efforts. This year, in the US, the Covenant medal system has recognized 56 cities for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and 45 cities for adapting to climate change. In addition, 20 cities were awarded the compliance medal for meeting all the milestones in both areas and completing their climate action plans.
For the Covenant coordinator in the Americas, Helinah Cardoso, the badges recognize cities’ necessary and urgent progress in climate action. “The effects of climate change can already be felt around the world. Unfortunately, cities are affected daily by droughts, floods, heavy rains, and other inclement weather. The environmental agenda must be increasingly present in everyday public policy. Rewarding those fighting for our planet is a way of recognizing and thanking them for their commitment, which is essential for the future of all of us.
For her part, Stephanie Horel of the European Union Delegation in Brazil, the delegation in charge of implementing the project, indicated that the EU joins in congratulating the Latin American cities for their commitment and efforts in the fight against climate change and thanked the regional and national coordinators for their tireless work in supporting the award-winning municipalities. “The region has great potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and significant capacity to achieve adaptation to climate change,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate all the cities that are part of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for achieving so many medals of recognition for their progress during the 2022 reporting cycle. This is a very strong sign of the cities’ commitment to working in partnership against the effects of climate change in the Americas. Becoming part of the Covenant is not only a political act, it is also a technical advance to elaborate and implement local climate action plans. Local governments are the most impacted by these effects and it is the mayors who are on the front line to solve citizens’ problems. These medals are a recognition of the work that cities have been carrying out”.
The North American region is crucial in the fight against climate change, as it is one of the most urbanized regions in the world. According to the Covenant Impact Report, the region’s principal risks and vulnerabilities are extreme hot temperature (18.2%), floods and sea level rise (17,7%), extreme precipitation (14%), storm and wind (12.4%), and drought (11%). In the report on local governments in 2022, it also became clear that the extremely hot temperature is the most vulnerable issue in the region. Currently, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy has reached more than 182 signatory cities in the US, benefiting more than 98.5 million people with the climate actions carried out by each of them.
The European Union has praised the North American cities for their commitment and efforts in the fight against climate change and thanked the national coordinators for their tireless work in supporting the award-winning municipalities. The potential impact of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the capacity to adapt to climate change in the region is enormous.