COP23 President Underscores Importance of Cities and Regions in Fight Against Climate Change: Bonn-Fiji Commitment

Mayor of Bonn delivers the Fiji-Bonn Commitment to the UN Secretary General

The COP23 President and Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainiamarama underscored the important roles cities and regions have in the fight against climate change at the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders in Bonn, Germany during COP23.

“We can draw from the power and enthusiasm of local and regional leaders in the mission to tackle climate change,” said the COP23 President. “So many of you have already demonstrated how to make decisions and implement them.”

The leaders gathered to officially adopt the Bonn-Fiji Commitment of Local and Regional Leaders to Deliver the Paris Agreement at All Levels, a pledge that signals their commitment to bring forward a critical shift in global development. The Bonn-Fiji Commitment highlights the pledge to raise collective ambition for climate action that is sustainable and that crosses state, regional and national boundaries.

The Summit was attended by over 330 political leaders and more than 1,000 delegates, including the COP23 Special Adviser for States and Regions and Governor of California, Jerry Brown; the former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger; the Mayor of Bonn, Ashok Sridharan; and the Minister-President of State of North-Rhine Westphalia, Armin Laschet.

“We are at a closer level to the people, so that gives us a particular directness and energy with which we can carry out our work of dealing with this overarching challenge of climate change,” said Special Adviser and Governor Brown.

“Cities, states and regions hold tremendous power, especially when you work together,” said former Governor Schwarzenegger. “We are the laboratories of reform, we are the engines of innovation and we are where the action is.”

The Summit celebrated the commitments of local and regional governments, as well as their partners who support and work closely with them. Partners include the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the Under2 Coalition, as well as key international coalitions of local and regional governments committed to climate action.

The Bonn-Fiji Commitment reinforces their dedication to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement and to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius.