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2021 Daring Cities conference unites cities in the fight against climate change

After its successful launch in October 2020, the Daring Cities conference is entering its second round. Together with many partners, the Bonn-based Cities Network for Sustainability ICLEI and the City of Bonn invite cities and regions to exchange ideas with the United Nations, science, business and civil society.

The aim of the exchange from Monday, October 4, to Friday, October 8, 2021, which will take place virtually due to the pandemic, is to learn from each other and to motivate each other to vigorously and quickly confront the advancing climate change on the ground. On the one hand, cities are producers of climate-damaging emissions. On the other, they are increasingly developing into places of innovation - for example, for sustainable energy generation, future-proof mobility and digitalization. 

Knowledge, action and decision-making - these are the three areas in which Daring Cities 2021 aims to bring the threads together. This is entirely in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, which explicitly considers contributions not only from national levels but also from the local and regional levels, the business community and civil society as a prerequisite for successful implementation. 

Bonn's Mayor Katja Dörner, who is responsible for climate action on the ICLEI Global Executive Committee together with her counterpart Tunc Soyer from Izmir (Turkey), points out: "In Bonn, we have already declared Climate Emergency in 2019, and we want to be climate neutral by 2035 at the latest. We can only achieve this together. Here in Bonn, for example, we have launched the participatory process 'Bonn4Future' for this purpose. But it must now also be clear to everyone around the globe that this is the time to act and to become involved."

Mayor Dörner presents Bonn's path to climate neutrality

During the conference, Dörner will not only present Bonn's path to climate neutrality (Monday, October 4, 10 a.m.), but above all will call for more cooperation between sectors and levels ( https://daringcities.org/program/the-necessity-to-act-now-i/ (opens in a new tab)). The Mayor commented: "What mankind is now facing can best be compared to competitive sports. We must not only have stamina, but mobilize all reserves to reach the finish line before the climate catastrophe will cost countless lives all over the world."

Dörner knows she has a prominent supporter from the world of sports at her side: Bonn-based Annika Zeyen, hand cyclist and gold medalist in the time trial at the Paralympics in Tokyo 2021, who will speak at the closing panel (Friday, October 8), as will the Mayor. 

As in the previous year, Bonn-based organizations and networks will also participate in the conference program as part of the "@Bonnglobal" series. The two sessions will be hosted by the Südwind Institute, this year's annual partner of the City of Bonn, together with Germanwatch on climate justice issues (Tuesday, October 5, 12 noon) and by the Bonn Water Network on water and climate change (Thursday, October 7, 12 noon). ( https://daringcities.org/program/climate-crisis-who-must-bear-the-burden/ (opens in a new tab) and  https://daringcities.org/program/its-about-water-local-water-action-for-climate-change-adaptation-in-urban-areas/ (opens in a new tab)).

Anniversary ‘25 years of UN City of Bonn’ is part of the program

The City of Bonn is celebrating 25 years of UN Bonn, which is also reflected in the program: on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, from 5 to 5:45 p.m., an international and thematically diverse panel will address the question of how new types of cooperation can be shaped within the UN and what cities and regions can contribute to this. Francesca Racioppi, Head of the WHO Office for Environment and Health and Chair of the Heads of Agencies of UN Bonn, will participate on behalf of the United Nations in Bonn ( https://daringcities.org/program/celebrating-unbonn25-the-future-of-cities-and-regions-in-the-era-of-inclusive-multilateralism/ (opens in a new tab)).

Daring Cities 2021 will not end with the closing event on Friday, October 8. It continues under the headline "Urban October", the campaign month for urban issues between World Habitat Day and World Cities Day, coordinated in Germany by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The topic will also be taken up at the World Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in early November, which will continue to promote cooperation between levels under the Paris Agreement. 

In addition to the city network ICLEI and the City of Bonn, the main partners of Daring Cities 2021 are the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Foundation for International Dialogue of Sparkasse Bonn, and this year also the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.

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