Delivered by João Campos, Mayor of Recife
Mr. President, distinguished delegates,
My name is João Campos and I am the Mayor of Recife, and the youngest Mayor of all state capitals in Brazil. I am delighted to be addressing you on behalf of the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities Constituency to the UNFCCC, and as a member of ICLEI’s Regional Committee for South America.
According to the IPCC, Recife is the sixteenth most vulnerable city to climate change in the world.
This is why we can not wait for others to act when it comes to raising ambition:
My city was the first in South America to declare a climate emergency in 2019.
But declarations only go so far, that is why we decided to act: a year later, we decided that our city will be climate neutral by 2050, and developed a concrete action plan to reach these targets. Most recently, we also joined the Race to Zero.
For global change, local action is crucial. It is with leadership of local governments, combined with the protagonism of youth, that we can be even more ambitious, and more committed to saving life on the planet.
This desire to transform has to be channeled into concrete action, that demand multi-stakeholder engagement. Local governments and their networks are essential to drive change, but they need the support of national governments, international and multilateral bodies.
We need to bring everyone to the table: we have to include businesses and non-governmental organizations, and speak directly to people. It is they, especially young people, women, and minorities, who are the real engines of transformation.
Recife is one of the many shining examples of local and regional governments around the world that are taking ambitious action. As a constituency of subnational governments, we want to emphasize the important contributions we make, and want to make around the world.
To raise ambition, we ask the parties to actively include their own subnational governments in the process as they improve their NDCs, and enable Local Governments to access technical and financial resources on a larger scale and with greater agility.
The time for multi-level action has come!
Thank you very much!