International ministers and mayors discuss "Innovate4Cities - a global climate action accelerator"

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) and the City of Malmö hosted a first of its kind roundtable with mayors, researchers and business representatives on cities-focused climate science during the 3rd Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting in Malmö (Sweden) on 23 May 2018, back to back with the 9th Clean Energy Ministerial in Copenhagen (Denmark).

The Mission Innovation Ministerial gathers energy ministers and high-level representatives from the business and research community, with the goal to bring clean energy innovation to citizens, communities and cities.

The Innovate4Cities initiative is a global climate action accelerator and will define specific cities’ research and innovation needs, exploring ways to incorporate these priorities into national research agendas. GCoM cities from around the world have begun a movement with businesses, scientists, and research institutions to co-develop priorities that will complement the IPCC research agenda on the science of cities and climate change. The recently announced Edmonton Declaration will galvanise the agenda developed through Innovate4Cities. This bold call-to-action from cities of all sizes to the academic and technology innovation communities to seriously consider the role of scientific research, technology research & development and data in building ambitious climate action plans, was launched in March 2018 and is being further discussed at the ICLEI World Congress in Montreal.

“Cities are experimenting with innovative solutions. It is in cities that most of the technological innovations and nature-based solutions will be deployed to increase resilience and improve the well-being of citizens, that charging points for urban electric vehicles will be rolled out, that decentralised renewable energy production will take off and smart buildings in energy positive neighbourhoods will be constructed. This research and innovation agenda will create a pathway to channel existing funding commitments around research and innovation and develop a new research pipeline that will mobilise resources and knowledge generation for cities,” said European Commission Vice President and Global Covenant of Mayors’ Co-Chair Maroš Šefčovič.

Governments have been committing significant resources in support of climate science for the past 30 years, but rarely have these efforts focused specifically on the scale of local governments, where much of the action must take place. Therefore, Innovate4Cities focuses on some of the most critical areas to drive climate action in cities, including frontier-research on clean energy and low-carbon urban infrastructure, access to affordable green energy, low carbon heating and cooling of buildings, e-mobility and integrated public transport systems, as well as adaptation responses such as resilient infrastructure and early warning systems.