Cities at the forefront of fighting climate change

Mayor of Paris

An ecological transition has been necessary for many years. It has now become vital. Faced with the prospect of the total destruction of people and the environment, we must send out an equally uncompromising wake-up call on the ties that bind humans and nature.

Only a radical overhaul of our way of living can put a stop to environmental degradation. And sustainable solutions need to come from cities, which are the leading public investors, trailblazers in testing ideas, and the driving force behind social and technological innovation.

Cities know how to create precious synergies between citizens, businesses and institutions. They have valuable human resources at hand, which can guarantee creativity and unique expertise. By forging a direct link between residents and users, cities can unite large communities tasked with thinking and doing. Thanks to their responsive modes of governance, they only need a few months to test ideas that would require years of negotiation in national and international bodies.

Local authorities must play their full part in this effort. Paris is fully committed to combating climate change and determined to move forward as quickly as possible. And I know that this objective is shared by many local leaders both in France and abroad. We intend to turn words into actions, which will benefit our lives and our cities.

This means placing the circular economy at the heart of the way we operate. We want to step out of the vicious circle of an economy, which is an increasing drain on resources, and enter another circle, one which respects human dignity, health and environmental balance. It is a circle in which humanity fights not against our possibilities, but against everything blocking the way to a freer future. The circle integrates, includes and involves everyone in a shared journey.

Local authorities need to work towards the emergence of this new economy, so that we learn how to produce without destroying, consume without wasting, and recycle without dumping.

This is precisely the direction that the City of Paris has chosen to take. And we are determined to make the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris a milestone in the fight to save our environment.

On the occasion, some 1 000 local leaders from around the world will come and fly the flag for cities and regions. Every day, local authorities implement concrete solutions at grass-roots level, which must be used to add impetus to negotiations. The Climate Summit for Local Leaders will be an opportunity to acknowledge those innovations that local authorities and their networks have put in place in their daily efforts to preserve our planet.

It is by giving all these voices the platform they deserve in order to be properly heard that we can reach an agreement that is crucial for safeguarding and freeing the future. The Climate Summit for Local Leaders will be an opportunity to deliver a powerful collective message with a single voice.

Another world is within our reach, and within the reach of all humankind, based on our ideals of unity and sharing. It is up to us to bring that world to life.

Visit http://next.paris.fr/english and www.paris.fr

For OECD data and information on cities and climate, visit http://www.oecd.org/gov/cop21-and-public-governance.htm

©OECD Observer 304, November 2015




Economic data

E-Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from the OECD by signing up for our e-newsletter :

Twitter feed

Suscribe now

<b>Subscribe now!</b>

To receive your exclusive print editions delivered to you directly


Online edition
Previous editions

Don't miss

  • “Nizip” refugee camp visit
    July 2016: OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría visits the “Nizip” refugee camp, situated between Gaziantep and the Turkish-Syrian border, accompanied by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek. The camp accommodates a small number of the 2.75 million Syrians currently registered in Turkey, mostly outside the camps. In his tour of the camp, Mr Gurría visits a school, speaks with refugees and gives a short interview.
  • OECD Observer i-Sheet Series: OECD Observer i-Sheets are smart contents pages on major issues and events. Use them to find current or recent articles, video, books and working papers. To browse on paper and read on line, or simply download.
  • Queen Maxima of the Netherlands gives a speech next to Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto (not pictured) during the International Forum of Financial Inclusion at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico June 21, 2016.
  • How sustainable is the ocean as a source of economic development? The Ocean Economy in 2030 examines the risks and uncertainties surrounding the future development of ocean industries, the innovations required in science and technology to support their progress, their potential contribution to green growth and some of the implications for ocean management.
  • OECD Environment Director Simon Upton presented a talk at Imperial College London on 21 April 2016. With the world awash in surplus oil and prices languishing around US$40 per barrel, how can governments step up efforts to transform the world’s energy systems in line with the Paris Agreement?
  • Happy 10th birthday to Twitter. This 2008 OECD Observer interview with Henry Copeland said you’d do well.
  • The OECD Gender Initiative examines existing barriers to gender equality in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. The gender portal monitors the progress made by governments to promote gender equality in both OECD and non-OECD countries and provides good practices based on analytical tools and reliable data.
  • Once migrants reach Europe, countries face integration challenge: OECD's Thomas Liebig speaks to NPR's Audie Cornish.

  • Message from the International Space Station to COP21

  • COP21 Will Get Agreement With Teeth: OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría on Bloomberg

  • The carbon clock is ticking: OECD’s Gurría on CNBC

  • If we want to reach zero net emissions by the end of the century, we must align our policies for a low-carbon economy, put a price on carbon everywhere, spend less subsidising fossil fuels and invest more in clean energy. OECD at #COP21 – OECD statement for #COP21
  • They are green and local --It’s a new generation of entrepreneurs in Kenya with big dreams of sustainable energy and the drive to see their innovative technologies throughout Africa. blogs.worldbank.org
  • Pole to Paris Project
  • In order to face global warming, Asia needs at least $40 billion per year, derived from both the public and private sector. Read how to bridge the climate financing gap on the Asian Bank of Development's website.
  • How can cities fight climate change?
    Discover projects in Denmark, Canada, Australia, Japan and Mexico.
  • Climate: What's changed, what hasn't, what we can do about it.
    Lecture by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, hosted by the London School of Economics and Aviva Investors in association with ClimateWise, London, UK, 3 July 2015.

  • Climate change: “We should not disagree when scientists tell us we have a window of opportunity–10-15 years–to turn this thing around” argues Senator Bernie Sanders.

  • In the long-run, the EU benefits from migration, says OECD Head of International Migration Division Jean-Christophe Dumont.
  • Is technological progress slowing down? Is it speeding up? At the OECD, we believe the research from our Future of ‪Productivity‬ project helps to resolve this paradox.
  • Is inequality bad for growth? That redistribution boosts economies is not established by the evidence says FT economics editor Chris Giles. Read more on www.ft.com.
  • Catherine Mann, OECD Chief Economist, explains on Bloomberg why "too much bank lending can slow economic growth".
  • Interested in a career in Paris at the OECD? The OECD is a major international organisation, with a mission to build better policies for better lives. With our hub based in one of the world's global cities and offices across continents, find out more at www.oecd.org/careers .

Most Popular Articles

Poll

What issue are you most concerned about in 2016?

Unemployment
Euro crisis
International conflict
Global warming
Other

OECD Insights Blog

NOTE: All signed articles in the OECD Observer express the opinions of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the official views of OECD member countries.

All rights reserved. OECD 2016