Port Vila Lord Mayor Ulrich Sumptoh was part of the Vanuatu delegation to COP 22 and spoke about how the coalitions, like Compact of Mayors, are advancing to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects.

“We have been working hard for quite some time, and coalitions like the Compact of Mayors, and soon to be the new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, allow us to prove this,” Mayor Sumptoh said.

These coalitions enable cities and local governments to collect and aggregate our mitigation and adaptation commitments, using the hard data we generate to advocate our interests in the international arena, he said.

“As the Mayor of Port Vila in Vanuatu, a small island state, I am well aware of the potential effects that climate change can have on a community. We are taking steps to build our resilience, but our efforts must be matched with ambitious efforts to halt emissions and support vulnerable cities and local governments.

“It is clear at this point in time that local efforts must go as far as possible – and cities and local governments committed to the Compact of Mayors have already made substantial commitments. Cities and local governments committed to the Compact are poised to reduce their emissions by 11.6 billion tons between 2010 and 2030. This will be vital in achieving progress towards global climate goals.

“Many of these commitments look ahead towards 2025 or 2030 – similar time horizons to the Nationally Determined Contributions made by nations. However, many others are actually looking ahead toward longer term climate targets. 79 committed cities have set climate targets beyond 2030. This is very important and visionary planning.

“Since the Compact was launched in 2014, ICLEI — Local Governments for Sustainability, as a founding part of the Compact, has contributed to this coalition by mobilizing its vast network of over 1,500 cities, towns and regions in more than 100 countries. In total, ICLEI has brought over 200 cities and towns in over 50 countries onto the Compact and managed the carbon n Climate Registry, its central reporting platform.

“As we look ahead to 2017, when the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy will officially launch, it is heartening to see how many of us have already committed. By bringing together the Compact of Mayors and the EU Covenant of Mayors, we are creating the largest and first-of-its-kind global coalition leading the fight against climate change.

“We can and we will do this together,” Lord Mayor Sumptoh expressed optimism about the fight against climate change but emphasized the importance of unity in that global struggle.

Port Vila’s Mayor Sumptoh returned on Monday afternoon.

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