More than 300 European cities have now declared climate emergency* at a municipal level. Covenant signatories are at the heart of the movement, and many examples of climate emergency declarations can already be listed amongst the Covenant of Mayors Community.
Reacting to an increasing awareness about the risks faced by cities and communities, many cities have declared different forms of climates emergencies. Despite some criticism stating that they are not always translated into concrete climate action plans, these declarations are still a way to send a powerful message about a city’s ambition regarding climate action.
“We are leading by example to bring Bristol together in the face of one of the biggest global threats facing our planet. We might be one city in the context of a worldwide issue but it’s vital we take immediate action for our citizens and work with them to empower them to contribute, addressing any barriers along the way.” –Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol.
Bristol was the first city council to declare climate Eemergency in the United Kingdom. To follow-up on this declaration, an action plan — aimed at making Bristol a carbon-neutral city by 2030 — will be presented to the City Council this month.
According to Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor in charge of Environment for Paris and Member of the Covenant Political Board, “declaring a state climate emergency allows the city to raise awareness of the public opinion on the matter [climate change] and to call citizens for immediate action”.
On the occasion of this declaration, Mayor Hidalgo presented two measures to be implemented as part of the global climate action plan of the city in the near future:
With such a high number of declarations of state of climate emergency, European towns and cities once again send strong messages and demonstrate their leading role in Europe's energy transition.
*According to the "Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation in Action" movement
© images David Harper, Myrabella, Fridays for Future Germany