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Opportunities for cities to take action on climate change

New city climate action platform launched

Zurich, Switzerland, 1 December 2015 – Ahead of the COP21, Climate-KIC in association with founding partners ICLEI, South Pole GroupCDPWWF and others are excited to announce the launch of the new cityactions.org platform for cities-related climate action.

Cities are at the forefront of creating climate change mitigation strategies to make urban environments more sustainable places to live. The impacts of new policies and financing frameworks targeted at emission reductions are often more visible and quantifiable on a city-level compared to similar measures at national level. The Paris climate change negotiations present a unique occasion for city-driven initiatives to lead the way in sharing solutions and urging a binding agreement with ambitious objectives for future climate change activities.

The CityActions Platform will allow cities to share information, engage, and find solutions to common challenges faced in the quest to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

This facility has been created in response to a myriad of pledges and collaborations bycities committing to fight climate change and attain carbon neutrality – among them the likes of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, the Compact of Mayors and joint city commitments under the CarbonN registry to reduce 1 gigatonne of CO2 by 2020. At present, nearly half of the world’s cities are dealing with the effects of climate change, and most urban areas on Earth are at risk of flooding from powerful storms and rising sea levels.

“Cities are where people live and work. We need to make cities better places to live and respond to the challenges of climate change. This new platform gives cities a head start in finding out the latest innovative thinking around climate change mitigation. It provides access to a community who can advise on implementing climate action strategies too,” underlines Bertrand van Ee, CEO, Climate KIC.

A South Pole Group led project, the CityActions Platform will screen and aggregate as many of the ongoing city-related activities on climate change adaptation and mitigation as possible. By doing this, it will meet the challenge of facilitating information exchange internationally, and offer value to city authorities, investors, journalists, academics, business and NGOs around the world.

“Sharing intelligent, sustainable solutions to our common challenges in cities is key for tackling climate change,” emphasises Renat Heuberger, CEO, South Pole Group.

Cityactions.org provides the most comprehensive overview of city actions at the Paris Climate Conference, including events at the City and Regions Pavilion, on Cities Day and during the Climate Summit for Local Leaders,” says Maryke van Staden, Program Manager Low Carbon Cities, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

Launched just in time for COP21, the CityActions Platform is constantly being developed. Climate KIC along with South Pole Group will be consulting global city-level leaders on the direction of the platform at two dedicated roundtable discussions during the Paris climate negotiations.

Kaj Embren, Project Leader, Nordic Mayors Initiative points out that “the City Climate Action Platform is an important new initiative highlighting the actions of cities at the Paris Climate Conference and beyond”.

ENDS ###

About South Pole Group

The Zurich-based South Pole Group began as a project-driven company focused on developing and selling high-quality carbon credits. Today, it is the world’s leading provider of climate solutions. No other firm in the world has developed as many successful emission reduction projects. No other company offers as rich a suite of services and solutions. South Pole Group helps public and private sector organisations develop climate proven policies and strategies. Areas of expertise cover every key sustainability-related area of climate change, including but not limited to: forests & land use, water, sustainable cities & buildings, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency. For more information, visit www.thesouthpolegroup.com or follow the company @southpolegroup.

About Climate-KIC

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero carbon economy. Our approach starts with improving the way people live in cities. Our focus on industry creates the products required for a better living environment, and we look to optimise land use to produce the food people need. Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Media contacts

Nadia Kahkonen, Communications Manager, South Pole Group
+66 2 678 8977

Angela Howarth, Head of Communications, Climate-KIC

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