GMF Convenes Subnational Leaders at COP 21 in Paris
On December 5 and in tandem with COP21 climate talks, the German Marshall Fund of the United States hosted a leadership session in Paris, France, outlining the importance of subnational leaders in mitigating climate change.
This collaboration between GMF’s Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives (TLI) and Urban and Regional Policy program, featured Dan Utech, Deputy Assistant to President Obama for Energy and Climate; Mayors Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, Utah and Kasim Reed of Atlanta, GA; Magnus Berntsson, Vice President of Västra Götaland, Sweden; Clarence Anthony, Executive Director of The National League of Cities (NLC); and Dr. Hande Özsan Bozatli, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER). GMF Senior Vice President Ivan Vejvoda provided opening transatlantic comments, noting “The commitments of subnational leaders to fighting climate change will help us all achieve a healthier, more prosperous and more secure future.”
GMF convened during the Compact of Mayors on December 4, 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, which was the largest global gathering of mayors, governors and local leaders focused on climate change.
GMF’s session at Paris City Hall, titled “Cities and Regions at COP21: Leading from the Front with Equity and Inclusion,” drew in a crowd of around 80 global leaders and influencers, including international mayors and elected officials, sustainability directors, and the CEOs of environmental organizations. This gathering provided a platform for subnational leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to share the opportunities and challenges of leading equitable and inclusive climate and clean energy policies to create vibrant cities and regions. TLI Senior Resident Fellow, Reta Jo Lewis, stated that this event, which followed GMF’s Cities@State reception, launching a new U.S. Department of State initiative, builds upon GMF’s work to address Secretary John F. Kerry’s Quadrennial Development and Diplomacy Review, outlining the need for state and local leaders in U.S. diplomacy.
After, on December 7, Lewis travelled to GMF’s Brussels office to join its Deputy Director, Dr. Corinna Horst, in addressing NATO, the European Parliament, and Commission officials on what the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election results could mean for the future of transatlantic relations, on issues ranging from climate change to equitable economic development.
Read more on the role subnational leaders play in advancing key transatlantic issues such as countering climate change and explore Whether Climate Change, Migration, or Terrorism, Global Challenges Require Local Leadership by GMF Senior Fellow Reta Jo Lewis.