CLIMATE BRIEF-EU backs global alliance of mayors to make cities greener

by Reuters
Tuesday, 8 December 2015 10:41 GMT

A woman and a child wear protective masks while riding bicycle on an extremely polluted morning as hazardous, choking smog continues to blanket Beijing, China, Dec. 1, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

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Alliance will deepen emissions cuts that regions have implemented more effectively than national governments

PARIS, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The European Union on Tuesday launched an alliance of global mayors, spanning the world from Mexico to India, to deepen emissions cuts that regions have implemented more effectively than national governments, Europe's energy chief said.

The EU is giving 60 million euros ($65 million) to the alliance, which will have offices in Mexico and in Brazil and widens a European Covenant of Mayors.

The European mayors have outstripped Europe's progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing carbon by around 28 percent compared with EU-wide cuts of around 23-24 percent versus 1990 levels, the European Commission said.

European Energy Vice President Maros Sefcovic said Europe had received interest from civic leaders from Japan, India, Africa and beyond, who wanted to discuss more sustainable cities.

The aim of the global alliance is to make city mayors pledge goals that are at least as ambitious as around the 185 national plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions submitted to the United Nations as part of this week's effort for a new global climate pact.

"The INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) should be the minimum," Sefcovic told Reuters. (Reporting by Barbara Lewis, editing by Louise Heavens)

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