On the 11th, Mexico held an evaluation and finalization meeting of the activities carried out under the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy between 2018 and 2020. In the virtual meeting, which marked the end of the first phase of implementation of the Covenant, highlighted the Climate Action Plans concluded by the five pilot cities supported by the initiative. Information on climate finance developed in the country for the consolidation of the Covenant was also presented.
The expert of the Covenant for Mexico, Eugenia García, recalled that the Covenant started its activities in the country in 2018 and that over the period many actions were developed, such as events with cities and technical training sessions. Eugênia also pointed out that the country currently has 88 committed local governments and that the pilot cities that have successfully completed their Climate Action Plans will now be an example for others.
For the European Union Joint Research Center (JRC) scientist, Silvia Rivas, Mexico is a special case for its capacity and openness to rethink actions that were being developed in relation to climate action. Rivas congratulated the cities, said he was “proud of the results” achieved so far and stressed that the next most important step is to implement the objectives of the Climate Action Plans prepared by the cities.
The data director of the Global Covenant Secretariat, Shannon McDaniel also congratulated the cities, recognizing the climate commitment expressed in every process that culminated in the elaboration of climate action plans and in their reporting process to the Covenant.
Addressing the next steps, the policy officer of the European Union’s Directorate for Climate Action (DG Climate), Manuel Carmona Yebra, stressed that a new stage of cooperation will begin and that EU support will continue.
Pilot cities panel
On the panel, moderated by José Alfredo Vargas of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the five cities shared their experiences and perspectives based on the question “what governance mechanisms do you think are necessary to meet your climate and territorial goals? » and specific questions for each of the five cities on the panel raised by Vargas.
Beatriz Martínez, representative of the municipality of Bahía de Banderas, said that she considers “transparency and citizen participation in all government actions, especially those related to the theme of climate change, to be indispensable”. She also stressed the importance of aligning institutions at the national and international levels to provide training to local governments.
Dialoging with the perspective of Martínez, Alberto Medrano, de Culiacán emphasized the relevance of transversal governance mechanisms and of “consolidating citizen participation and involving all sectors of society”, seeking to break the borders of the place. This aspect of interconnected work also appears as central in the speech by the representative of Ciudad Madero, Philip Norrie, who considers coexistence and joint work with neighboring governments to be relevant, adopting a “more regional than local vision”, as a way to move forward with more success.
“The administration is finite, so it is necessary to involve people in the process,” said Verônica Gonzales, from Ciudad Juarez, pointing out that in the city, social and citizen participation issues are also being strengthened as a way of consolidating the Covenant. For her, another aspect that deserves attention is the evident need for education on climate change.
Finally, Juan Luis Sube, from Zapopan, addressed another central element in strengthening the global alliance of mayors: the economic issue and its impact in the fight against climate change. For him «the climate fund and the generation of information are a challenge that still needs to be overcome in the fight for the climate».