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Nordic Capitals‘ Declaration on Climate Change

Nordic Capitals‘ Declaration on Climate Change
Issued ahead of the COP21 in Paris 2015

Urban areas are the home to over half of the world’s population and at the forefront in the battle against climate change. Even though cities occupy only 2 percent of the earth’s surface area, they stand for 80 percent of economic activity in the world and generate 75 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions according to United Nations Environmental Programme(UNEP). The United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris this year puts emphasis on cities and their commitment to reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses.

In the run up to COP21 in Paris, we the mayors of the Nordic capitals signed a declaration on climate change with two goals. Firstly we commit to fight climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions beyond national targets. Secondly we commit to reduce the impact of sea level rise, flooding and extreme weather by making our cities more resilient. These are simple measures – but great challenges.

With the signing of the declaration, the capitals of the Nordic countries are declaring that they will continue to reduce emissions through increased energy efficiency and by converting to renewable energy solutions. A climate agreement that actively supports this work would facilitate and intensify our efforts.

Like other cities we face changes towards extreme weather such as heavy rainfall and heavy snowfall, and less biodiversity. The Nordic capitals are currently investing in adapting measures. In the declaration of Nordic Capitals we commit to fight climate change and create resilient cities by continuing to make the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a top priority for the Nordic capitals. We commit to support each other in finding innovative solutions that can reduce emissions and reduce the impact of rising sea levels. Furthermore we commit to share our knowledge, ideas and best practices on how to reduce emissions from our operations and use green public procurement.

With this declaration we, the mayors of the Nordic capitals, urge all cities to commit to substantially reduce their emissions – and increase their resiliency. At the same time we encourage all national governments at COP21 to commit to emissions reduction  that ensures that global warming is actively limited to no more than 2°C.

Frank Jensen, lord mayor of Copenhagen
Jussi Pajunen, mayor of Helsinki
Barbara Heinonen, mayor of Mariehamn
Raymond Johansen, governing mayor of Oslo
Dagur B. Eggertsson, mayor of Reykjavík
Karin Wanngård, mayor of Stockholm
Heðin Mortensen, mayor of Tórshavn