GEF 5: Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI, Germany

GEF 5: Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI, Germany

Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI, Germany talks about the ICLEI’s work as a local government association that unites more than 1000 cities around the world and assists them with projects that work to achieve sustainability in their respective regions.

Begin says while cities occupy only 1.3% of our planet, it is a “house to half of the population” today. This is expected to increase, he says, as it is predicted that more than 3.5 billion people will migrate to cities in the future. This indicates the demand for energy will also increase by more than 30%.

He explains that more than 73% of all energy is being consumed in cities at present. ICLEI, therefore, is working with local leaders to help them manage rapid urbanization by providing them with sustainable solutions.

Begin says some of the solutions include introducing clean public transport and banning private cars that use fossil fuels.

He says although cities have been a part of the problem, they can do a lot to contribute to solutions as well.

Begin concludes by talking about why GEF’s recent introduction of a new funding line for sustainable cities is positive news for cities working to address climate change.