Mayor Landrieu To Participate In Largest Global Convening Of Local Leaders At Climate Summit

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that he would travel to the Climate Summit for Local Leaders as part of the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of city leaders dedicated to taking climate action.

         Mayor Landrieu will meet with other cities and mayors to demonstrate their commitment to making communities more resilient to climate change, reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and regularly reporting their progress publicly.

         Hosted by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of the City of Paris, and Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change—in partnership with the global networks of cities and local governments—the Climate Summit for Local Leaders will be the largest global convening of mayors, governors and local leaders focused on climate change.

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         “The Climate Summit for Local Leaders will be the largest global convening of mayors, governors and local leaders focused on climate change,” Mayor Landrieu said. “As part of the Compact of Mayors, we are committed to reducing our local greenhouse gas emissions, creating ambitious climate targets, tracking our progress and enhance New Orleans’ climate resilience. With consistent, public reporting of our City’s climate data, we will show how our actions can effect real change.”

         Mayor Landrieu said, “This historic summit will coincide with the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, helping to ensure that the voices of local leaders are heard, and city efforts, like New Orleans, are recognized, during the international negotiation process, in order to reach a universal, legally binding agreement that will enable us to combat climate change effectively. Along with hundreds of other cities in the Compact of Mayors, we are showing that actions at the local level can have a global impact. As we continue to better our city, we will be helping to better the world for our generation and those to come.”

         As one of the key initiatives launched at the UN Climate Summit in September of 2014 by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, the Compact of Mayors is the world’s largest collective effort to date by cities to tackle climate change, proactively prepare for its impacts, and regularly track and report progress. The Compact was activated under the leadership of the global city networks—C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)—and with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues.

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         "The Compact of Mayors reflects the commitment that cities are making to reduce carbon emissions and the crucial role they play in confronting climate change," said Michael Bloomberg. "The more cities that take part in the Compact, the bigger impact it will have. I applaud all of the mayors who have joined, and look forward to welcoming more cities into our growing coalition."

         Recent research shows that if every local government  in the world took action in accordance with the Compact of Mayors—particularly by targeting their building energy, transportation, and waste sectors—they could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of cutting the world’s annual coal use by more than half.


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Compact of Mayors


         The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of mayors and city officials pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and to track their progress transparently. The Compact was launched in September of 2014 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg. The Compact was activated under the leadership of the global city networks—C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)—and with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues. In the lead-up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the unity and ambition among cities through the Compact of Mayors will inspire world leaders to follow suit and forge a global climate deal in Paris.


Resilient New Orleans


         In August 2015, Mayor Landrieu unveiled Resilient New Orleans – a concrete, strategic roadmap for the City of New Orleans to build urban resilience. The strategy, a joint effort between the City and 100RC – pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, proposes 41 actions to build citywide resilience. The strategy will help New Orleans become a more equitable, adaptable and prosperous place for all of its residents as the City approaches its tri-centennial in 2018.

         Resilient New Orleans  includes such items as the establishment of personal emergency savings accounts, the development of a comprehensive storm water management program, and establishing one of the world’s few resilience centers, located right here in New Orleans.

         The strategy comes with over $1 million in commitments for implementation from 100RC Platform Partners, in both the public and private sectors, as well as additional commitments from other local and national philanthropic organizations. As the City moves towards implementation, they will also have continuing access to a $100 million pool of tools and services from the 100RC network and platform partners.

         Resilient New Orleans lays out dozens of actionable steps in response to these challenges, focused on several key, tangible pillars, including:

         Launching an emergency account program, using the model of the Individual Development Account, a savings-matching program for low- and moderate-income earners to set aside funds for emergency uses. The City will work with the Foundation for Louisiana on this brand-new initiative.

Implementing a comprehensive storm water management  through a partnership between the City, as well as national and international experts, including Greater New Orleans, Inc., Greater New Orleans Foundation, Trust for Public Land, and Dutch water management firm, Deltares. This effort will complement the traditional, or “gray,” drainage system of pipes and pumps with green infrastructure that delays and detains storm water in landscaped spaces.

         Establishing one of the world’s few Resilience Centers right here in New Orleans, a storefront to be centrally located in our City, and serve as a hub for resilience innovation and leadership development. Partners on this initiative include The Rockefeller Foundation, Tulane University, Greater New Orleans, Inc., and the American Institute of Architects.

         Leading by example through a new partnership with a homegrown company, PosiGen.  PosiGen Solar Solutions and their partners will install a photovoltaic cell array and battery backup modules on the New Orleans City Hall complex to reduce strain on the electric grid, and provide redundancy in the face of shocks and outages to critical city systems. 

         Developing a small business resilience initiative to bring technical assistance to small businesses in order to assess their preparedness, identify improvements, and enhance economic stability. Partners include the Walmart Foundation and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

         Implementing a resilient infrastructure recovery and risk transfer initiative to deploy private-market assets to improve or repair critical systems after a disruptive event. Partners for this initiative include Swiss Re and Veolia.

         Establishing a resilience-retrofitting program that incentivizes property owners to invest in risk reduction through a tested financial tool, the Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) initiative. Deutsche Bank is a partner on this initiative.

         Resilient New Orleans was developed in partnership with over 110 local community leaders and stakeholders, including representatives from the Foundation for Louisiana, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, Neighborhoods Partnership Network, Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies and Broad Community Connections. The strategy is also a key component of New Orleans’ membership in 100RC, which played a leading role managing the community stakeholder process, and providing expertise to local community leaders and organizations.

         100RC currently works with a network of 67 cities around the world to prepare for and bounce back from physical, social and economic challenges that increasingly impact our rapidly urbanizing world. In addition to funding the Chief Resilience Officer position, 100RC provides cities like New Orleans with partnerships in the private, public, academic, and non-profit sectors to implement ideas from resilience strategies, like Resilient New Orleans.

         Resilience represents a city's ability to engage its communities in response to social, economic or physical challenges, so that it can survive, adapt and grow no matter what kind of issues it may face.  Resilience is best demonstrated through the people of New Orleans, who chose to return and rebuild our City in the wake of Hurricane Katrina – so that it not only recovers, but becomes resilient to all future challenges.

         Recovery efforts in the years following Hurricane Katrina, and The Rockefeller Foundation’s leadership  in spearheading the Unified New Orleans Recovery Plan (UNOP), helped inspire the global 100RC Challenge, launched in 2013. With a focus on flood protection, affordable housing, public services, and state-of-the-art education and health care systems in New Orleans, UNOP was a single, cohesive plan that enabled the city to access federal recovery funding and focus on long-term resilience-building activities. Its success became a model for The Rockefeller Foundation’s global resilience efforts and illuminated New Orleans as a living laboratory for resilience thinking and planning.

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