Across the world, the rate of urbanisation is increasing at a rapid pace. As the areas in which the majority of people live and work, cities are increasingly acknowledged as the arena in which solutions to major societal and environmental challenges must be implemented. This rapid change has put many cities under significant strain. Local governments are struggling to meet the higher demand for services in fields such as energy, water, health, and transport prompted by the increase in population. The three-year International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme aims to enable cities to link up and share solutions to common problems. It is part of a long-term strategy by the European Union to foster sustainable urban development in cooperation with both the public and private sectors. The IUC is separated into three distinct components:

I. City-to-city cooperation on sustainable urban

By pairing up EU with non-EU partner cities, the IUC boosts access to expertise in urban development policy, helping cities promote smart, green and inclusive growth. Working with like-minded partners, it fosters better ways to plan, finance, develop, govern and manage cities, and supports the New Urban Agenda decided in Quito.

II. Sub-national action under the Global Covenant of Mayors initiative

Cities consume two-thirds of the world’s energy. The Covenant of Mayors initiative promotes local actions to reduce harmful emissions, adapt to climate change and ensure access to clean and affordable energy.

III. Inter-regional cooperation on innovation for local and regional development

Cities and regions can generate growth by innovating and sharing expertise on clustering, global value chains and Smart Specialisation Strategies. This is important in Latin America where governments are trying to diversify their commodity-driven economies.

Knowledge Platform

The Knowledge Platform provides a space for IUC cities to connect virtually with their partner city, access resources on sustainable development, and share their own experience.

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Global Covenant of Mayors launches regional chapter in South Asia

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), an international coalition of city leaders committed to raising the global ambition for climate action, launched on 5 May 2018 a regional chapter for South Asia in New Delhi, India. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy - South Asia (GCoM-SA) aims to support the efforts of cities in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and make their communities more resilient toward the effects of climate change. GCoM-SA was launched within the context of the South Asian Cities Summit and through support frm the EU funded International Urban Cooperation programme in India and city network partners.

At today’s launch event, GCoM Vice-Chair and former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, the architect behind the historic Paris Agreement, and EU Ambassador Tomasz Kozlowski joined mayors, commissioners, key local actors and representatives from across South Asian countries as well as global and local city network partners to share regionally relevant challenges, best practices and lessons learnt, and demonstrate how a shared vision for the future can enhance climate action and quality of life for their citizens.

GCoM-SA aims to encourage and support South Asian sub-national authorities to promote the economic and health benefits of cities’ climate action. To date, 14 cities in South Asia have committed to GCoM, representing a population of more than 36 million. Through their commitments to take action on climate change, cities in the region could reduce their emissions by 65 percent.

The region’s overall potential to curb emissions is even greater, and GCoM-SA officially launched today a campaign to further invite mayors and commissioners from India as well as local governments across the region to join the Global Covenant of Mayors and commit to transitioning to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy. The Indian cities of Surat and Gangtok signed a commitment to join cities across the globe to take action as part of this coalition today.

For more information, click here [PDF].

Created with flickr slideshow.

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