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Collaboration in Action: Mayors and city leaders gather in Singapore to discuss innovative urban solutions

Yesterday, C40 and the Singapore National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) held an event at the World Cities Summit (WCS) 2016, a global platform for government leaders and industry experts to address liveable and sustainable city challenges and forge new partnerships.

“From Ambition to Action: The Vital Role of Cities in Achieving the Paris Agreement” drew together C40 mayors and city experts from around the world to share insights on the actions they are taking – on mitigation, adaptation and increasing resilience – as well as the key challenges they face in doing so.

Singapore

Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State for the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore, delivered the event’s opening address to a full room.

“Singapore has recently developed our Climate Action Plan which President Tony Tan announced at the opening of the World Cities Summit. The Climate Action Plan outlines Singapore’s key strategies to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions up to 2030. The Plan also outlines the potential impact of climate change on Singapore and our approach to adapt to key risks such as sea level rise, increase in temperatures and extreme weather events. It is clear that countries and cities can work together to maintain the positive momentum generated at COP21 in Paris and we will continue to do so.”

He added: “Over the past few days, we have had various sessions to discuss different aspects of innovative urban solutions and best practices. What is evident is that there is no simple “one size fits all” solution.”

Deputy Governor of Jakarta and C40 Vice-Chair Oswar Muadzin Mungkasa then delivered the event’s keynote address: “We must act now to act on the Paris Agreement and build resilient cities of the future, with a focus on both mitigation and adaptation.”

Mayor of Auckland Len Brown, Mayor of Quezon City Herbert Bautista, and Senior Director of the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) of Singapore Tang Tuck Weng kicked off the first panel session, with C40 Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Oceania Milag Ballesteros as moderator. The panelists discussed key initiatives and programmes that define their cities’ pathway to low carbon development, from cycle-ways in Auckland to solid waste management in Quezon City, and how these contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement.

mayors

Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb and Chairman of Ho Chi Minh People’s Committee H.E Nguyen Thanh Phong took the stage next. C40’s Director of Regions Simon Hansen served as moderator. Both mayors discussed their challenges and successes in making their cities more climate resilient and their historic partnership and collaboration on climate risk adaptation through C40’s Connecting Delta Cities Network, which Rotterdam created.

The final session featured Morten Kabell, Mayor for Environmental and Technical Affairs in Copenhagen, Dr. Aisa Tobing, Advisor to the Governor of Jakarta, and Tadashi Matsumoto, Project Manager Green Growth at OECD with Mary Jane Ortega, Special Advisor at CITYNET as moderator. The speakers highlighted key approaches from each city in engaging various stakeholders—businesses and private sector, communities and citizens— in moving forward with climate action priorities and programmes.

Seth Schultz, C40 Director of Research, Measurement and Planning, closed the event with an update on C40’s latest research initiaitives and the new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, and an invite to the sixth-biennial C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City in late November.

C40 would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to advancing innovative urban solutions to climate change, and a special thanks to our partners in the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) of Singapore for helping us to organise a truly fantastic event.