You’ve reached an agreement, now it’s up to us to make it happen!

Speech by Ronan Dantec, UCLG climate spokesperson, on behalf of Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) at the closing of the COP 21 at el Bourget, Paris on Saturday, 12 December.

“President of the COP, President of the Republic, COP21 Delegates,

I’d like to start by expressing my most sincere thanks to COP 21 President, Laurent Fabius, for his commitment to the success of the COP 21, and for having included non-state actors, particularly local governments, during the entirety of this lengthy process. I know it’s not necessary to convince him that we won’t have any chance of stabilizing global temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius without the action of cities, regions, businesses and the third sector.

Global networks of local and subnational governments welcome the Paris Agreement. Beyond the ambitious goals included in the Agreement, we’re happy to see chapters on implementation that seek to accelerate action as soon as possible during the period 2015-2020, and which mention knowledge and exchange mechanisms in which we actively collaborate.

We are also encouraged by yesterday’s statements by the Peruvian, French and Moroccan ministers, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Ségolène Royal and Hakima El Haité, in which they expressed a strong shared will to strengthen the Lima-Paris Action Agenda. The Lima-Paris Action Agenda showcases our common determination to tackle climate change and is a valued space for exchange between non-state actors.

We also support the explicit reference in the preamble of the Agreement to the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in New York in September. Ultimately, we believe that the climate and development agendas are one and the same, and that they represent a single, common international obligation. In this regard, while we welcome the $100 million that the Paris Agreement sets aside for developing countries, we would like to reiterate the need to work together on mechanisms that ensure that this financing is dedicated to real investment in the territories of these developing countries. Without a territorial approach, we won’t achieve any of the adaptation or mitigation goals that the international community has set for itself tonight.

Mr. President, in the opening session I said to you: “reach an agreement, we’ll make it happen!” Tonight, you have reached an agreement so, starting tomorrow, we commit to do everything we can to take action to achieve it.”

Click here to read the Paris Agreement.