Global Covenant of Mayors opens worldwide headquarters in Brussels in the Presence of king Philippe of the Belgians
King Philippe of the Belgians, European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael R. Bloomberg and other international guests gather to celebrate the establishment of Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy’s Global Secretariat in Brussels, supporting cities around the globe in the fight against climate change
BRUSSELS, 22 March 2018 – Today the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), an international coalition of city leaders committed to raising the global ambition for climate action, inaugurated its new headquarters in Belgium, in the city of Brussels. The high-level ceremony took place at the climate alliance’s new office in the International Press Center, Boulevard Charlemagne, and included the attendance of King Philippe of the Belgians, and other political and climate action leaders from around the world.
The event was hosted by Global Covenant Co-Chairs, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action Michael Bloomberg and Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, along with its Vice Chair, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres. The gathering was an opportunity for high-level actors committed to the fight against climate change to discuss the engagement of local governments with national and supranational actors to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to keep the rise in global temperature well below two degrees Celsius.
The new office of the Global Covenant of Mayors is located in the heart of the European Quarter in Brussels, across the street from the European Commission’s headquarters, the Berlaymont building. The Global Covenant chose to host its global headquarters in Brussels due to the city’s increasing relevance as a world center of political decision-making, strategically placed to facilitate a close collaboration with the international political community, as well as the scientific community, financial institutions, and subnational players from across the globe who share the long-term vision of moving to a low emission, resilient society.
The Global Covenant of Mayors was created in January 2017, bringing together the Compact of Mayors and the Covenant of Mayors to create the largest and first-of-its-kind global coalition of cities and local governments to combat climate change. Cities account for more than 70% of global energy-related GHG emissions and are the places where the effects of climate change are already most severely felt, but also where concrete climate action can be implemented most efficiently through concrete, on the ground action in areas such as such as buildings, transportation, energy and waste.
The coalition comprises thousands of cities across 6 continents and more than 120 countries, representing over 700 million people or almost 10% of the global population. By 2030, Global Covenant cities and local governments could collectively reduce 1.3 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year from business-as-usual. This equals the emissions of 276 million cars taken off the road. Belgian cities are very actively engaging in the Global Covenant through the regional EU Covenant of Mayors. Around 300 Belgian cities have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors and several cities are taking the lead in the fight against climate change.
Michael Bloomberg, Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, former Mayor of New York City: “Brussels is a diverse, international city that plays host to the European Commission, which is taking bold action on climate change, making it the perfect home for the Global Covenant of Mayors. King Philippe has been a strong advocate for action on climate change and an important supporter of the Global Covenant of Mayors, and we’re honored to have him with us as we officially open our headquarters.”
Maroš Šefčovič, Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors, Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for the Energy Union: “Today’s opening of the headquarters of the Global Covenant of Mayors in Brussels, in the presence of King Philippe, is an important moment. It will allow our Secretariat to work closely in multilevel dialogue with the key Brussels-based subnational, national and supra-national stakeholders to collectively raise the ambition for climate action. The Global Covenant will certainly be welcomed in Brussels, as Europe’s Member States and cities have placed the fight against climate change at the center of their priorities.”
Note to editors
About the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy formally brings together the Compact of Mayors and the Covenant of Mayors, the world’s two primary initiatives assisting cities and local governments in their transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy, and helping demonstrate their global impact. Led by UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, Michael R. Bloomberg, and European Commission Vice President, Maroš Šefčovič, in partnership with local, regional and global city networks, the Global Covenant has thousands of city signatories across 6 continents and more than 120 countries, representing over 700 million people or nearly 10% of the global population. Learn more at: www.globalcovenantofmayors.org.
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