Belmonte addressed climate change at UN assembly in Kenya

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QUEZON City Mayor Joy Belmonte represented hundreds of local leaders during the opening plenary of the sixth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) on Monday, February 26, 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mayor Belmonte was chosen as the summit rapporteur of the cities and regions to raise their concerns and propositions to UNEA, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.

According to the mayor, cities like Quezon City are initiators of impactful climate initiatives. National governments should work closely with local governments to successfully scale these solutions up, thus benefiting more residents.

Mayor Belmonte showcased how Quezon City developed innovative solutions with the help of its stakeholders. 

“United action at all levels of government and society is vital to achieving a green, sustainable, and livable future for all. 

There is also a dire need for local authorities to have accessible financial resources and interventions to effectively implement environmental programs at the grassroots level, especially for those who belong to the most marginalized sector of the community,” the mayor said.

Subnational governments should also be involved in implementing Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). Its success is hinged on the coordinated efforts of all levels of the government, people participation, and collaboration with organizations and the private sector.

The mayor also stressed that local authorities should be given a platform to actively participate in future UNEA resolutions and other environmental initiatives.

“The challenges we face are immense, but our potential for collective action is even greater. Let us embrace the shared responsibility amplified at the summit,” Mayor Belmonte said.

“Addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution require a united front, where international agencies like the United Nations, national governments, cities, the private sector, NGOs, and communities at all levels collaborate more closely together in the pursuit of our collective goals,” she added.

The mayor is joined in the UNEA-6 by Coun. Vito Sotto Generoso, and Kristine Lea Sy-Gaon of the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department (CCESD).

Last year, Mayor Belmonte was hailed as the UN Environment Programme Champion of the Earth for policy leadership.

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