Environmental crisis: starting again from the cities.
It is by beginning with the small local problems that a moral conscience is formed capable of facing problems on a worldwide scale. In the final analysis, ecology represents a challenge which can be met only by changing mentalities and forming consciences. It has already been demonstrated by very competent scientific studies that neither technical or economic resources are lacking for the improvement of our environment. Instead, what is lacking is that spiritual supplement, that new love for the human person, which makes all of us feel responsible towards all the others in a common effort to manage the resources of the earth in an intelligent, just and balanced manner. (Chiara Lubich to Nikkyo Niwano, 8 march 1990)
According to UN “55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050”  and “climate change is a global phenomenon that largely impacts urban life. Rising global temperatures causes sea levels to rise, increases the number of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and storms, and increases the spread of tropical diseases. All these have costly impacts on cities basic services, infrastructure, housing, human livelihoods and health. At the same time, cities are a key contributor to climate change, as urban activities are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. (…) Only with a coordinated approach and action at the global, regional, national and local levels, can success be achieved. It is essential, therefore, to make cities an integral part of the solution in fighting climate change. Many cities are already doing a lot by using renewable energy sources, cleaner production techniques and regulations or incentives to limit industrial emissions…”
As expressed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), cities are objects and subjects of climate change. Yet there is a growing awareness that the inversion of climate change can start from cities. City mayors are directly accountable to their constituents for their decisions, and are more nimble than state and national elected officials to take decisive action—often with immediate and impactful results. What the cities do individually and as networks to address climate change can set the agenda for communities and governments everywhere.
In light of this research, The panel will dedicate a first part to an updated vision on climate change, a second part to the critical application of the Paris Climate Agreement and a third part to the results of the Katowice Climate Change Conference with the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties, COP 24.
In addition, there will be brief interventions by mayors or administrators who will offer the goodpractices implemented in their city.