At COP28, Mayor Claudia Lopez calls for social justice to drive climate justice

Mayor Claudia López Calls for Social Justice to Drive Climate JusticeAlcaldía de Bogotá
From left to right: the mayor of Makati, Philippines, Abigail Binay; mayor of Bogota, Colombia, Claudia Lopez; and governor of Tokyo, Japan, Yuriko Koike.
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This Friday, the Mayor of Bogota delivered remarks at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which, for the first time in history, opened its doors to regional and local leaders.

The city's mayor was among more than 200 governors, mayors, and leaders who formed this historic global delegation, uniting to drive sub-national climate action and proudly represent the power of local climate leadership at COP28.

From this group, the Global Co-Chairs of the Local Climate Action Summit invited a delegation of 13 mayors and governors to attend the opening ceremony as spokespersons for cities and local governments. Mayor López was one of them.

The participation and advocacy of local governments will pave the way for a new paradigm of climate action, integrating governments at all levels to transform local climate financing, enhance local contributions to improve global action, accelerate the energy transition, and strengthen adaptation capacities.

After participating in the official opening of COP28, held behind closed doors, Mayor López attended the opening of the Local Climate Action Summit alongside the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres; the President of COP28 and Special Envoy of the United Arab Emirates for Climate Change, Dr. Sultan al Jaber; and the United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Michael Bloomberg.

The Mayor of Bogotá spoke on the panel titled "Decarbonizing Our Planet, Enhancing Lives through Local Action," where she shared the stage with Governor Yuriko Koike of Tokyo, Japan, and Mayor Abigail Binay of Makati, Philippines. In this forum, she emphasized, " The energy transition that is most important for the Global South is the food, education, income generation, freedom, and jobs. Those are the most important human fuels to base Social Justice. Without Social Justice there won't be Environmental Justice. There is no way we're gonna be able to achieve the Climate Goals if we don't achieve first and invest at the same time in Sustainable Development Goals."

She also encouraged mayors from around the world to break paradigms and implement people-centered urban planning processes and clean transportation: " The great avenues of the 21st century, the public spaces that were mainly devoted to fossil-fuel cars, and instead organizing our cities not in great avenues but in green corridors that actually protect the ecological structure, providing space for pedestrians, bikes, and electric public transportation. Don't be afraid to redistribute public space! she emphasized.

Mayor López concluded by calling on multilateral banks to unlock and facilitate access to resources that can kickstart local projects promoting a green and equitable transition: " You want us, the local government, to be the driving force. Please set up the rules and the conditions, so that s funds from all development banks from the world can come directly to the local governments, to their sub-national government, without getting trapped in political polarization," she concluded.