New Chair Mayor Park of Seoul spearheads energy and emissions savings plan in cities worldwide

In the run up to COP18, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change and Seoul Metropolitan Government hosted a number of events including a World Mayors Dialogue. The Dialogue enabled local leaders to present their success stories and exchange ideas with international and Korean stakeholders on energy, climate and citizen engagement. The 2012 Seoul Declaration of Local Governments on Energy and Climate Mitigation is one of its most important outcomes (see the story below).

New Chair Mayor Park of Seoul spearheads energy and emissions savings plan in cities worldwide

Mayor Park further commits Seoul to reduce the use of fossil and nuclear energy in municipal operations by at least 30% by 2020 compared to 2010

22 October 2012, Seoul, Republic of Korea – In his first global action as the new Chair of World Mayors Council on Climate Change (WMCCC), Mayor Park Won Soon of Seoul announced the 2012 Seoul Declaration of Local Governments on Energy and Climate Mitigation; the initiative aims to ensure significant energy and emissions savings.

As a demonstration of his leadership, Mayor Park announced that the Seoul Metropolitan Government will commit to reduce the consumption of fossil and nuclear energy of municipal operations by at least 30% by 2020, compared to 2010 consumption levels.

The announcement was made at the World Mayors Dialogue in Seoul, where more than 30 Mayors from around the world gathered. The event celebrated the official transfer of leadership of the WMCCC from Mayor Marcelo Ebrard of Mexico City to Mayor Park Won Soon of Seoul.

The 2012 Seoul Declaration of Local Governments on Energy and Climate Mitigation sets sights on advancing energy and emissions savings at both municipal and community-level operations. It encourages reporting to Mexico City Pact and carbonn Cities Climate Registry and foresees a global review in Nantes in 2013.

The ICLEI Global Executive Committee and the WMCCC will work proactively to engage members and partner local governments to reach the objectives set forth in the declaration.

The initiative is also a key instrument designed to inspire cities worldwide and to encourage them to emulate the vision laid out in Mayor Park´s ambitious plan “One Less Nuclear Power Plant” which aims to reduce Seoul´s energy consumption by 2 million toe (tonne of oil equivalent), save 7.3 million tCO2e (tonnes of CO2 equivalent), create 40,000 jobs and save $1.2 billion USD by 2014—all through strong citizen engagement.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), embraces this bold initiative led by Mayor Park; she believes that this is one of the hard but essential steps necessary to achieve the low-carbon cities of tomorrow.

Representatives from world-leading environmental organizations, like Bill McKibben of 350.org and Samantha Smith of WWF International, as well as Korean environmental groups like Local Sustainability Alliance for Korea (LSAK), applauded the bold vision and ambitious goals of the declaration and expressed their firm support in assisting in its implementation.

The World Mayors Dialogue and the 2012 Seoul Declaration of Local Government on Energy and Climate Mitigation came out ahead of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties ministerial meeting on climate currently held in South Korea.

More information:

Read the full text of the 2012 Seoul Declaration
Mayor Park of Seoul takes the helm of WMCCC from Mayor Ebrard of Mexico City
New Chair, Mayor Park of Seoul spearheads leveraging energy and emissions saving in cities globally
Success and sustainability in climate action goes through citizen engagement
Bill McKibben of 350.org commends Mayor Park and his fellows on bold leadership