Latin American Cities of the Global Covenant of Mayors Position Themselves for COP28 at Mercociudades
São Paulo, November 24 – During the XXVIII Summit of Mercociudades held in São Paulo, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, through its Mayors and Mayors Forum in Latin America, had a prominent presence. On November 22, local authorities, international institutions, and the Covenant Secretariat team participated in the Summit with the aim of discussing strategies to accelerate local climate action in Latin America and bring the voices of their cities to the global instances of international climate policy at COP28 in Dubai.
The first significant moment took place on the 22nd during the Thematic Unit on Environment and Sustainable Development. In this space, representatives from Mercociudades and the Mayors and Mayors Forum of the Covenant, as well as from different cities in Latin America, debated the perspectives and positions of local governments in the upcoming COP 28. Both in person and virtually, representatives from cities such as Ayacucho, Peñalolén, Registro, San Justo, Sauce, Venado Tuerto, Villa Carlos Paz (Argentina), Maceió, Porto Alegre, Rio Pardo, São Leopoldo, São Paulo (Brazil), Quilpué (Chile) Cuenca (Ecuador), and Paso de los Toros (Uruguay) were present at the Summit. During these discussions, the performance against climate change in the region was addressed, and a common agenda was established for the short, medium, and long term.
Lautaro Lorenzo, executive secretary of Mercociudades, highlighted the joint work of city networks in preparation for COP28, especially regarding Loss and Damage, Climate Financing, and Adaptation to climate change. Belén Jiménez, Technical Advisor to the Covenant for Latin America, highlighted the support for cities in planning ambitious climate actions and in the visibility of the good practices of cities, facilitating their recognition and access to national and international financing. The session was coordinated by Leonardo Herou, general director of Environmental Management of Canelones (Uruguay) and coordinator of the Thematic Unit, and also had the presence of national coordinators of the Covenant in Brazil, such as Rodrigo Corradi, Deputy Executive Secretary of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in Latin America, and Eduardo Tadeu, Executive Director of the Brazilian Association of Municipalities.
Nicolás Cuesta, Mayor of San Justo (Argentina), represented the Mayors and Mayors Forum of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Latin America, at the session. Nicolás highlighted two key achievements of the year: the dialogue on climate investment at the Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week and the successful awareness campaign on sustainable mobility “Car-Free Day.” These achievements are closely linked to the importance of demonstrating the work and mobilization of small and medium-sized cities at COP28, advocating for greater investment at the subnational level.
Nicolás Cuesta wanted to emphasize at this event that “The work of the Global Covenant of Mayors in San Justo has been fundamental because, otherwise, a city like ours would not have been able to prioritize the construction of a Climate Action Plan. Small and medium-sized cities in Latin America must prioritize the development of these plans to demonstrate our commitment to the climate crisis and to be able to access resources and sources of financing that respect the circular economy. The work we did at LACWEEK in Panama was essential to think about other options for green financing that connect various actors, both public and private.”
This event in São Paulo marked a milestone in the preparation of Latin American cities for COP28, where progress and significant contributions in the fight against climate change at the local level were presented.
About Mercociudades Mercociudades, the Latin American Network of Local Governments, is one of the founding members of the Global Covenant of Mayors in Latin America through the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and composes its Regional Steering Committee and, globally, the Global and Regional Coordination Working Group. The network members and the Permanent Technical Secretariat of Mercociudades have an essential role in disseminating the Covenant at the regional level and in its implementation, as well as in deepening and accelerating climate actions with the municipalities of the alliance.
About the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is the world’s largest alliance of municipalities and cities committed to leading the fight against climate change and promoting sustainable energy. In Latin America, more than 650 municipalities are committed to the alliance. The mission of the Global Covenant of Mayors is to drive resilience to climate challenges, reduce carbon emissions, and ensure equitable access to sustainable energy.