Leonardo DiCaprio delivered a powerful speech Friday at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders at City Hall in Paris, a side event of COP21. The event was hosted by Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris and former mayor of New York City and the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy for cities and climate change Michael R. Bloomberg. Mayors from Los Angeles, Berlin, Madrid, Johannesburg and other major cities around the world gathered to discuss their role in mitigating climate change.
“Our world leaders are here in Paris in an effort to finalize a global agreement 20 years in the making, to finally address the very real threat that climate change poses to our planet,” DiCaprio said to the mayors. “These leaders have met before. They met in Kyoto, they met in Copenhagen, and in cities on every continent, but each and every time, they have come up short. This time must be different, because we are fundamentally running out of time.”
“Climate change is the most fundamental and existential threat to our species,” he continued. “The consequences are unthinkable and worse, it has the potential to make our planet unlivable.
“So to all the mayors and governors in this room today, I implore you to join with your peers to commit to moving to no less than 100 percent renewable energy as soon as possible. Do not wait another day.
“Our future will hold greater prosperity and justice when we are free from the grip of fossil fuels. Now to get there, we must act. We must finally leave behind the inefficient technologies of another century and the business models that they have created.”
Also at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, 1,000 mayors and local leaders adopted a declaration to “support ambitious long-term climate goals such as a transition to 100 percent renewable energy in our communities, or a 80 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2050.”
The declaration also included:
- Advance and exceed the expected goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement to be reached at COP 21 to the full extent of our authorities.
- Produce and implement participatory resilience strategies and action plans to adapt to the rising incidence of climate-related hazards by 2020.
- Deliver up to 3.7 gigatons of urban greenhouse gas emissions reductions annually by 2030 the equivalent of up to 30 percent of the difference between current national commitments and the 2 degree emissions reduction pathway identified by the scientific community.
- Engage in partnerships among ourselves and with global organizations, national governments, the private sector, and civil society to enhance cooperation and capacity-building programs, scale-up climate change solutions, develop metrics and promote innovative finance mechanisms and investments in low-emission projects across the world.
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