April 20, 2015
The Seoul Declaration sets nine future tasks and objectives on the basis of which some 1,200 ICLEI member cities will be preparing their action plans. These include the creation of a low-carbon city and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; creation of a resilient city; creation of a resource-efficient and productive city; creation of an eco-mobile city; creation of a smart city; promotion of biodiversity across the city; creation of a happy, healthy and inclusive city; forging a sustainable local economy; and, finally, cooperation on public procurement and on forging a sustainable city region.
City-level climate action – momentum building
The adoption of the Seoul Declaration comes shortly after 30 European cities signed adeclaration in Paris, committing themselves to use their collaborative purchasing power, amounting to approximately €10 billion a year, to buy eco-friendly products.
The ‘inter-governmental’ nature of the climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) means that cities are not formally recognised in the process. This, however, should not prevent us from recognising that cities are an important part of the problem and can therefore play a crucial role in the solution to climate change. It is hoped that the Seoul Declaration-driven action plans will enable cities to make significant progress in the lead up to COP 21 in Paris, whilst putting pressure on national governments to reach a binding agreement.