Two important events related to the effort of cities to combat climate change took place in Brussels, Belgium at the end of November 2019. The Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) Secretariat organised an open house inviting helpdesks and secretariats of GCoM from different regions of the world in its headquarter in Brussels, Belgium on 19,20 and 22 November 2019 and the European Union’s International Urban Cooperation (IUC) project organised its 3rd IUC City-to-City Event. IUC Asia Helpdesk/GCoM Southeast Asia and representatives from cities of Indonesia and Malaysia actively participated in both events.
In the GCoM Open House, approximately 70 participants from Secretariats, Helpdesks and partners including ICLEI, Climate Alliance, etc attended the event. The focus of the agenda was about the GCoM initiative and how it supports the cities to combat climate change and create a low-carbon society through its main initiatives namely Data4Cities, Invest4Cities and Innovate4Cities; the opportunities and challenges faced by the GCoM Headquarter and Regional Secretariats and technical issues including the Bloomberg Climate Tools, most effective communication tools, and the introduction of the GCoM Regions Portal.
Participants were actively involved in each session. They shared their experiences and knowledge in the daily operations of a Secretariat including showcasing the success stories of the cities in each region. The event also allowed participants to receive inputs from other Secretariat/Helpdesks in regard to the challenges they faced.
The event also introduced the GCoM Regions Portal, a portal dedicated to Secretariats, Helpdesks, and cities to track progress, share information, and collaborate between regions. Secretariats and Helpdesks will be the main users of the portal who are able to provide inputs and revisions, while cities and partners will be able to access the information.
In the 3rd IUC City-to-City event on 21 November 2019, more than 200 representatives of local and regional governments from the Americas, Asia and Europe met in Brussels on 21 November for the third annual City-to-City Event of the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme. Once more, cities came together to reflect on results of their pairings and of the crucial role inter-city cooperation plays in advancing sustainable communities.
The Malaysian cities of Johor Bahru, Muar, and Penampang – which are IUC Asia’s pilot cities in developing the Climate Action Plans – , and the Indonesian city of Semarang sent their representatives in the event. Frederis Ekol, the Councilor of Penampang in Malaysia, contributed in sharing the “back to nature” approach in the district’s coastal development and Ara Wiraswara from Bogor city administration in Indonesia joined the panel discussion on climate financing and shared the city’s experience in attaining the city budget for climate actions.
The GCoM Open House 2019 presentations are available here