West African Mayors Call for Increased Climate Action at the Local Level

23 September 2011: The African Mayoral Conference on Climate Change-West African pre-COP 17 Congress concluded with the signing by over 80 mayors and chairmen of local governments of the African Mayors Climate Declaration. The event also served as a preparatory platform for West Africa's local authorities and their partners to prepare for the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC).

Convened by the International Council Local Environmental Initiative (ICLEI), the conference took place from 2o-22 September 2011, in Lagos, Nigeria . It provided a platform for local authorities and stakeholders to focus on local action for climate change adaptation and mitigation in West Africa. During the course of deliberations, delegates called for increased collaboration among African countries and urged more action at the local level. They noted that a collective response to climate change is in Africa's interest, lamenting that Africa has less capacity to respond the challenges posed, contributes the least to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and yet is the most vulnerable to its impacts. West African Mayors also underscored the importance of the African Mayors Climate Declaration, noting that governors, mayors and provincial leaders will affect climate change policy the most as they are its implementers.

The Declaration was adopted originally at the Local Climate Solutions for Africa 2011 Congress (LOCS2011), which was convened in Cape Town, South Africa, from 27 February - 3 March 2011, by ICLEI Africa. The Declaration aims to prioritize key concerns of African local governments ahead of COP 17, and calls for countries to recognize that Africa's local governments are pivotal partners in implementing climate change policy and developing a just and pro-poor response to climate change. [The African Mayors Declaration on Climate Change] [UN/ISDR Press Release] [ICLEI Press Release]  [Lagos State Government Press Release]