City governments need to be given more power to fight climate change since the world's cities are responsible for a majority of greenhouse gas emissions and that is where the battle will be won or lost, a grouping of mayors said Thursday.
A declaration signed by leaders from more than 70 cities gathered in Seoul for the third C40 Large Cities Climate Summit said the burden of implementing climate change policy often falls on local government so cities should have more say in setting policies and be given more resources.
Toronto Mayor David Miller, who chaired the three-day meeting, said cities bear significant responsibility for addressing climate change because they cover only about 2 percent of the Earth's surface but are responsible for some 80 percent of greenhouse gases.
"The fight against climate change and against greenhouse gas emissions will be won or lost in cities," he said at a news conference. "It is essential therefore that national governments engage, empower and resource the cities of the world if they wish to fight climate change and succeed."