The Pact’s Strategic Importance

The MCP is an eminently global accord because of its geographical coverage, its inclusion of cities with different socioeconomic and climatic conditions, its integrated coverage of cities’ mitigation and adaptation actions, the transparent character of its actions and instruments, its promotion of actions on the part of economic, social and civil society organisms, and the diplomatic activity it develops as an interlocutor with international organizations at international, regional, national and local forums. 

The MCP is an accord reached by mayors within the framework of the World Mayors Summit on Climate (WMSC) on 21 November 2010 in Mexico City. Its aim was to undertake substantial climate-change related mitigation and adaptation actions that would allow for the construction of a platform for cities and sub-national governments to directly access multilateral, national and regional international financing. Initially, 138 mayors, assembled from around the world, signed the MCP. And to date, 239 cities from fifty nations on five continents have joined the pact. They are home to approximately 200 million individuals.

The MCP represents a qualitative leap forward in relation to preceding and even subsequent accords, action plans and pacts with national regional and/or local dimensions, or that focus on energy and adaptation issues. Naturally, the MCP did take inspiration from conventions such as the World Mayors and Local Governments Climate Protection Agreement (2007), the Local Governments Climate Action Plan (2007), the publication of the Copenhagen World Catalogue of Local Climate Commitments (2009), The Copenhagen Communiqué on Climate Change (2009), the Dunkerque 2010 Call on Climate Action (2010), the Bonn Declaration of Mayors Adaptation Forum (2010) and the Durban Adaptation Charter (2011).

The MCP not only includes mega-cities such as Paris, Tokyo, São Paulo, Istanbul, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Johannesburg, but also cities of varying populations and development levels from regions throughout the world. One important MCP characteristic lies in its efforts to promote international cooperation. Leading cities in the fight against global warming, such as Copenhagen—which committed to being a carbon neutral city by 2025—have signed the pact, as have cities that are just initiating climate action plans or emissions inventories. These last benefit from capacities and knowledge transfers the MCP facilitates.

In global terms, the MCP is transparent because its actions and outcomes are published on line and can be accessed by any interested party. Actions cities commit to implement enjoy solid scientific and technical support through the carbon Cities Climate Registry (CCCR). This registry quantifies cities and local governments’ climate actions as they relate to greenhouse gas reductions and the development of mitigation and adaptation actions portfolios. MCP commitments also allow cities to report actions such as preparing climate action plans or local legislation that favor reduced greenhouse gas emission. Visit www.carbonn.org for further consultation.

The MCP also features a narrative system describing each year’s climate actions as carried out by signatory cities. The Fundación Pensar. Planeta, Política, Persona prepares this report in Mexico City and results can be accessed at www.fundacionpensar.org.mx. The foundation maintains regular communication with cities to report on Pact advances, experience/information exchanges and to call on cities for climate change documentation.

Both the technical and the narrative report are available on the Pact’s official web page: www.mexicocitypact.org. It offers patent transparency with regard to cities’ climate actions since any individual or institution worldwide can verify these on line.

The MCP is global because it carries out intense diplomatic work as an intermediary between international organisms such as the Secretariat for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the World Bank, the UN Environmental Program, etc., as well as due to the support it receives from international organizations such as the World Mayors Council on Climate Change, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the Club de Madrid, and the Fundación Pensar, Planeta, Política, Persona. ICLEI and UCLG, for example, bring together thousands of city and local governments. Not least of all, the MCP’s global reach allows for the pact’s diplomatic promotion at international economic and climate forums such as those celebrated in Cancún, Bonn, Oslo, Durban and Davos, among others.