"Cities, states and regions hold tremendous power, especially when you work together…We are the laboratories of reform, we are the engines of innovation and we are where the action is," says Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"Our spotlight could not be any brighter, our megaphone could not be any louder," says Arnold Schwarzenegger of cities and regional governments at the closing of the Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders.
Arnold Schwarzenegger on local climate action: "There are many people blown away that local governments can do this kind of work…Our clean energy revolution is now sweeping the world and it is powered by cities, states and regions – like those gathered here today. I am proud of far we have come."
H.E. Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji and COP23 President: "We can draw from the power and enthusiasm of local and regional leaders in the mission to tackle climate change. So many of you have already demonstrated how to make decisions and implement them."
"This is the moment to take what we know cities and regions can accomplish and turn it into the everyday reality of citizens everywhere. We are at a crucial point. We are led by the monumental and far reaching Paris Agreement, but we are also in a race against time. Quite simply, we must act, all of us together and with great urgency," says Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC.
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC: "I feel proud to be able to contribute by opening a space and bringing together all the parts of this huge puzzle to make the Paris Agreement a reality."
"Cities cannot win the fight on their own, but without cities, the fight cannot be won at all," says Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany.
“Today has been an impressive demonstration of concrete actions that cities, regions and their partners are taking to advance global action with all their potential,” says Mayor Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn, Summit Co-Host and First Vice President of ICLEI at the closing ceremony.
Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito Metropolitan Government, Ecuador, lead the adoption ceremony, summarizing its intention as follows:
First, local governments are committed to do their part of the work. Second, they are committed to coordinate with national governments and institutions. Third, cities will implement specific programs and actions to effectively fight climate change.
"Local governments and cities throughout the world play a key role in the fight against climate change. We are leaving a historic moment at this Summit by adopting the Declaration that ICLEI has facilitated with the collaboration of different partners and stakeholders," says the mayor.
H.E. Lorna Eden, Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment in Fiji spoke the undeniable truth: Climate change affects us all. All countries and every level government need to have the tools to meet national and global goals.
Cities experience climate change first hand and local and regional governments are closest to the people. If cities do not move to address the needs of vulnerable people who will? Cities need to lead but they also need the backing of national governments and financing.