ICLEI- Local Governments for Sustainability has elected Seoul City Mayor Park Won Soon as its new President. The announcement was made at the ICLEI World Congress 2015 – the biggest gathering of local and subnational leaders committed to sustainability. Former ICLEI President David Cadman officially handed over his legacy to Mayor Park who is a keen enthusiast of sustainable approaches to climate change. As the new President, Mayor Park’s vision is to promote sustainability not only in Seoul but also in other cities worldwide.
“We have a responsibility to hand this green planet onto our children. A city’s problem is no longer the problem of one country or one city. These are global challenges that all cities must address, with Mayors taking the lead,” said Mayor Park.
Mayor Park is a champion of urban sustainability and has helped Seoul to become one of the world’s leaders on sustainable development. Most recently, Seoul successfully completed the first phase of its “One Less Nuclear Power Plant” initiative.
Mayor Park explained, “We implemented this initiative in order to respond to the continually rising demand for electricity. Our aim was to reduce energy demand by an amount equivalent to the production of one nuclear power plant. To do this, we partnered with the private sector to help us produce more energy from renewable sources, and we encouraged all our citizens to save energy in their daily lives. In June 2014, we were able to announce that we had met our target six months ahead of schedule.”
Outgoing President David Cadman commented, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as President of ICLEI’s Global Executive Committee. During my Presidency, ICLEI has increased its membership and has helped cities, towns and regions to move towards a truly sustainable future. Whether they are using our case studies to learn about best practice, networking at our events, or reporting their greenhouse gas emissions through the carbonn Climate Registry, our Members are benefiting from ICLEI’s support on their journey to full sustainability.”
The new first Vice President of the ICLEI Global Executive Committee 2015-2018 is James Nxumalo, the Mayor of Durban, South Africa. Mayor Nxumalo has been a prominent voice in ICLEI for many years.
Mayor Nxumalo said, “I am committed to helping ICLEI and all of its Members to create a sustainable urban future. The ICLEI World Congress 2015 is a wonderful beginning, and we are looking to the future with optimism in spite of the challenges that we face.”