Across the world, the rate of urbanisation is increasing at a rapid pace. As the areas in which the majority of people live and work, cities are increasingly acknowledged as the arena in which solutions to major societal and environmental challenges must be implemented. This rapid change has put many cities under significant strain. Local governments are struggling to meet the higher demand for services in fields such as energy, water, health, and transport prompted by the increase in population. The three-year International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme aims to enable cities to link up and share solutions to common problems. It is part of a long-term strategy by the European Union to foster sustainable urban development in cooperation with both the public and private sectors. The IUC is separated into three distinct components:

I. City-to-city cooperation on sustainable urban

By pairing up EU with non-EU partner cities, the IUC boosts access to expertise in urban development policy, helping cities promote smart, green and inclusive growth. Working with like-minded partners, it fosters better ways to plan, finance, develop, govern and manage cities, and supports the New Urban Agenda decided in Quito.

II. Sub-national action under the Global Covenant of Mayors initiative

Cities consume two-thirds of the world’s energy. The Covenant of Mayors initiative promotes local actions and facilitates city-to-city cooperation to reduce CO2 emissions, adapt to climate change and ensure access to clean and affordable energy.

III. Inter-regional cooperation on innovation for local and regional development

Cities and regions can generate growth by innovating and sharing expertise on clustering, global value chains and Smart Specialisation Strategies. This is important in Latin America where governments are trying to diversify their commodity-driven economies.


Cities and climate action workshop discusses the future of the Covenant of Mayors in India

The first public event of the Covenant of Mayors India took place on 7 September in New Delhi, engaging national and local institutions, mayors, cities and urban development practitioners in discussion on local climate strategies and the actions being undertaken in Indian cities. 

The workshop, titled “Cities and Climate Action” saw presentations from the Mayors of Nagpur and Varanasi, and the Commissioner from Rajkot. The Chief Resilience Strategy from Surat was also showcased. 

The second meeting of the Covenant of Mayors/India Coordination Group provided an opportunity for the Mayor of Nagpur and the Commissioner of Rajkot to discuss with representatives from city networks (CDP, AIILSG, ICLEI, Climate Group, TERI) on how to progress the Global Covenant of Mayors within the country.

It was agreed that a Covenant of Mayors India launch event will be organised by early 2018 (January/February). The event will include the presence of Indian as well as International key opinion-makers and will be supported by a major media campaign. 

The event was held as part of the Climate Change Conclave organised by the Delegation of the European Union - India in association the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), hosted within the CII-IST 12th Sustainability Summit. 

In the coming months, states and cities will be contacted and requested to join the Covenant of Mayors India, providing support for the preparation and implementation of their Climate Action Plans. More information will be announced soon.

A complete photo-album of the event is available on the IUC India Facebook page.

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