Barcelona invokes its commitment to the climate

21/10/2015 - 18:57 h

Sustainability. The municipal government has presented the Commission for Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility with a document that sets out the city's priorities in the fight against climate change.

To mark the UN Climate Change Conference, COP21, Barcelona City Council is proposing to spell out the city’s commitment to the fight against climate change with its “Barcelona Commitment to the Climate”, which will strengthen and extend municipal undertakings already acquired and specify a short-term road map, alongside several citizen organisations. 

Barcelona has been committed to the fight against climate change for years, so energy management, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation, environmental quality and energy poverty are priority issues on the city’s political agenda.

Now, taking The 2012-2022 Citizen Commitment to Sustainability as its starting point and reference, Barcelona City Council and citizen organisations are pooling their initiatives to develop the “Barcelona Commitment to the Climate”.

At the same time, to mark the holding of the COP21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opening in Paris on 30 November, Barcelona City Council proposes to spell out the city’s commitment to the fight against climate change.

Action and initiatives under the “Barcelona Commitment to the Climate”

The following initiatives are being taken for the process to draft the “Barcelona Commitment to the Climate”:

1. Energy and Climate Change Group with the Citizen Council for Sustainability.

The Energy and Climate Change Group with the Citizen Council for Sustainability is to be consolidated so that work can go ahead with the network of signatories to the Citizen Commitment to Sustainability.

This group will set out to seek a collective response to the following question: Based on the commitments acquired under the 2012-1022 Citizen Commitment to Sustainability, what are we doing in the face of climate change? And more specifically: What are the priorities, challenges and road map to be followed over the coming 2 years? The answers to these questions are expected to lead to the setting-up of some joint projects.

The working group has already held two meetings, between September and mid-October. In a coming meeting to be held towards the end of October and open to all citizen organisations, the proposed projects will be presented and contributions collected, after which the group will meet for the last time.

2. “Let’s Network for the Climate”

Meanwhile, this coming 27 October will see a meeting entitled “Fem Xarxing pel Clima” [Let’s Network for the Climate], from 9 am to 1 pm at the Born Cultural Centre, which citizen organisations are invited to take part in.

The meeting will basically involve educational talks on climate change, resource exchanges, initiatives and good practices and the presentation of priorities and projects established by the working group.

3. Round Table on the Climate

On a municipal level, so that the work done on climate change can be promoted as well, a permanent and inter-departmental Round Table on the Climate will be established for evaluating and following climate change policies and projects (reduction and adaptation); developing and promoting initiatives and projects for allaying and adapting to climate change; disclosing and introducing, both internally and publicly, the projects that are being worked on in this area; and raising the level of information that municipal workers have on this issue.

Once the round table has been established, it will aim to establish two or three priority, cross-cutting projects over the coming two years. Specific working groups will be created to lead and monitor them. These projects will also foster the “Barcelona Commitment to the Climate”.

4. Drafting the Barcelona Commitment to the Climate

After the “Let’s Network” meeting of 27 October, the working group will conclude the document on priorities, challenges and projects that are to provide the basis of the “Barcelona Commitment to the Climate”.

5. Barcelona’s role in Paris and the presentation of the Barcelona Commitment to the Climate

A delegation from Barcelona will travel to Paris to take part in the 21st UN Conference on Climate Change, where the “Barcelona Commitment to the Climate” approved at one of the city’s forums will be presented. Barcelona is also expected to take part in the display of 100 exemplary projects in the TAP exhibition hall.

Better known as COP21, the Conference is an annual meeting with representatives from 196 UN states that have ratified the Convention and constitute the “parties” concerned. COP21 will tackle the need to reach a new international agreement on climate that applies to all the countries, to keep global warming under 2°C.

6. Visibility and support for other citizen initiatives on the climate

Barcelona City Council is aiming to group together the various planned citizen initiatives on climate change during this period, by supporting and offering coordination for pooling the efforts of all the players working with similar goals.

The Citizen Commitment to Sustainability and Climate Change

The 2012-2022 Citizen Commitment to Sustainability (a brainchild of the Agenda 21 global movement) is a benchmark framework with strategic value and inspired aims that highlights the strong interest citizen organisations and Barcelona City Council have in advancing together towards a shared vision.

It is made up of 10 Goals, and for each of these, 10 lines of action. It has been signed up to by over 760 organisations (companies, associations, professional associations, trade unions, universities, 342 schools, etc.) and by the City Council itself.

The 2012-2022 Citizen Commitment to Sustainability therefore acts as a starting point and reference for the Barcelona Commitment to the Climate, which will strengthen and extend the municipal undertakings already acquired (Covenant of Mayors, Mayors Adapt) and go even further, by specifying a short-term road map, alongside citizen organisations.