Mannheim, June 3, 2017 – The recent decision of U.S. President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement (COP21) underlines the imperative for cities around the world to assume the lead on climate change. The Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM) joins literally thousands of cities, countries, businesses and civil society organizations committed to meeting and exceeding the targets set out in COP21. The Paris Agreement is non-negotiable. A retreat to geopolitical isolationism and climate change denial will generate devastating consequences in our interdependent world.

Now more than ever, bold leadership and collaboration is required of mayors and their municipal partners. Cities, counties and state governments across the US have already announced to stick to  COP 21. They are joined by international inter-city networks and national governments.  

As city leaders know all too well, planetary threats are interlinked with urban realities. The openness, diversity and pragmatism that makes cities so effective cannot be sacrificed on the alter of closed, divisive national politics.

When nation states default on their sovereign responsibilities, cities have a responsibility to take action. They do not need to ask permission. The GPM’s mission is to empower cities to take action on climate change and other challenges to the global commons including migration and urban safety. A city is not a country and urbanity is not nationality. Cities are critical nodal points in a transnational global system and represent and antidote to closing national borders and reactionary populism.

The GPM is encouraged that cities and their mayors in the US and around the world have spoken loudly and clearly on matters of global concern. The GPM will work to ensure their voices are heard in the international arena. The GPM was inaugurated in The Hague September 2016 and is currently chaired by Mayor Patricia De Lille of Cape Town, South Africa, and vice-chaired by Mayor Peter Kurz of Mannheim, Germany.

The GPM will hold it second convening in Stavanger (Norway) on September 24-26 2017 with the goal of promoting “a governance revolution empowering cities”. At the convening mayors from around the world will commit to widening and accelerating action on climate change. Mayors will also work to coordinate resistance to shortsighted policies advanced by nationalist and protectionist politicians. The GPM and its membership stand in solidarity with U.S. cities to meet international commitments and the basic protections that they guarantee.