The Third Annual Meeting of the OECD Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers on 'Cities and Green Growth' concluded that national and city leaders must work together to increase cities’ ability to promote green growth.
OECD Secretary-General Gurría said, "We have reached a strong consensus around the conclusion that Urban, Green and Growth can blend and complement each other to become an engine of intelligent recovery. Our cities are ‘green growth laboratories’. We must share this know-how." (Read full speech here)
David Miller, Mayor of Toronto and Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group added, 'Mayors have shown time and again that they are embracing and implementing initiatives that bolster the green economy. But for these efforts to truly succeed, national and sub-national governments need to enact enabling legislation, allow access to resources and fully engage with cities around the shared goal of green growth and prosperity.'
Using finance instruments to boost investments in green growth, comparative urban environmental and economic indicators to encourage best practices and measure green jobs, and innovative policies, cities are part of the solution to today’s economic crisis. Roundtable participants invited the OECD to continue assisting governments by:
Hosted by the OECD and organized in collaboration with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Club of Madrid, this major initiative provided the opportunity for mayors, ministers, and former heads of government to both address common challenges and share best practices on green growth. Mayors and governors from Toronto, Yokohama, Boulder, Lisbon, Paris, Rabat, Dar es Salaam, Bogotá, Copenhagen, Jakarta, London, Melbourne and many other cities discussed the opportunities for cities to become more active in the green economy. Ministers and State Secretaries from 15 countries outlined strategies to include cities in national environmental strategies. Both Ministers and Mayors identified successful green jobs programs in renewable energy, green R&D, low-carbon public transit, and green building programmes. These policies were evaluated in an OECD paper released for the Roundtable.
The Roundtable also brought together representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Inter-American Development Bank, Clinton Climate Initiative, United Cities and Local Governments along with companies such as General Electric, GDF Suez, Vinci, and Oracle, among others.
The Roundtable follows in the wake of OECD reports on climate change that analysed energy efficiency and green building programs in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Venice, Santiago, Toronto, Hong Kong, Pearl River Delta, Cape Town, Seoul, New York, Mumbai, and Tokyo.
The participants of the 3rd OECD Roundtable on Urban Strategy of Mayors and Ministers exchanged best practices on a wide variety of green growth policy tools, including tools to green public utilities and purchases; to assist local industries in improving eco-efficiency; to train local workers to meet the demand for green job skills; and to support research and the development of green-tech clusters that can become drivers of urban green growth over the long term. They emphasised the value of harnessing market-based systems to save energy, reduce greenhouse gases, and provide green jobs. Roundtable participants invited governments to strengthen collaborative projects between local, regional and national stakeholders to bolster the green economy.