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OECD Secretary-General

The Leaders Seminar: A Conversation on Climate Change and Cities

 

Introductory Remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General 

 

OECD Conference Centre, Paris
Wednesday 17th September – 10h00

 

UN Special Envoy Bloomberg, Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to welcome Mr. Bloomberg to the OECD this morning. As the 108th Mayor of New York City; the Chair and Board President of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group; and now as UN Special Envoy for Climate Change and Cities, Mr. Bloomberg has been at the forefront of issues on Cities and Climate Change for over a decade.
 
[To Mr Bloomberg]. I understand that you come to us today fresh from receiving the Legion d’Honneur – Congratulations. Mr. Bloomberg, we are delighted to have you here.

Our conversation today comes at a crucial moment. We are all aware of the immense scale of the global challenge presented by climate change. It is no longer simply an environmental issue. It is an economic and a social issue. It is vital to our quality of life and to the life of our fragile Earth! Action is becoming ever-more urgent.

On the eve of the UN Climate Summit in New York, and in the build-up to COP 21 in Paris next year, we are here to talk about what role cities can and are playing to battle climate change.

Cities are among the first places to feel the full impacts of climate change. And the multi-faceted challenges that we face, like air pollution, exposure to natural disasters, and resource scarcity, affect the lives of millions of people in urban centres. 


Yet, as local authorities around the world continue to demonstrate, cities are also uniquely placed to implement policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and to promote greener growth.

But to make this happen, local and national governments need to work hand in hand.

We at the OECD recognise this, and in conjunction with our colleagues at Bloomberg Philanthropies/C40, we are pleased to present the ‘Policy Perspectives on Cities and Climate Change: National governments enabling local action’, which you have been given today.


Mr Bloomberg, I am glad that we will continue to strengthen our collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies/C40 and hopefully will deliver key messages during the lead up to COP 21 on the need to foster effective local-national partnerships to address crucial issues such financing water and adaptation, climate finance and risk management, and others.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are very also happy to have with us this morning the award-winning anchor and editor-at-large for Bloomberg Television, Ms. Francine Lacqua. She will be responsible for animating today’s conversation.

So let us begin, and please join me in thanking Mr. Bloomberg for being with us today.