The 21st century presents economic, social and environmental challenges for the capital. Paris is preparing to meet these future challenges. In 2004, the City of Paris adopted an Agenda 21, followed in 2007 by the Climate Plan. Here are the major elements:
Fighting against climate change
Adopted unanimously in October 2007, the Climate Plan led to the creation of the Paris Climate Agency, and several plans presenting this: eco-districts, preservation of biodiversity, protection of the atmosphere, reduction in energy consumption, etc. The Climate Plan has also enabled concrete short-term and medium-term initiatives to be undertaken, such as the improvement of the transport offer, or raising tourism professionals’ awareness of responsible tourism.
Developing social cohesion
The City of Paris is increasing its social initiatives: social cohesion (a ceiling for contributions bouclier social, help for low income households, help for associations), solidarity (heat wave contingency plan, micro-credit plan) and diversity (departmental welfare programme) are the key words.
Developing a sustainable local economy
The City intends to encourage a dynamic and responsible economy creating sustainable jobs through targeted actions: local town planning plan, map for getting around in Paris, modal shift to river and rail for the transport of merchandise, support for economic innovation and eco-businesses, etc.
Paris encourages the public to take part in decision-making through numerous awareness-raising initiatives: themed days and exhibitions, development of a network of structures to educate the public about the environment, training of council workers, etc.
All of these initiatives are part of a pro-active commitment by the City, in collaboration with the goals of the Île-de-France region, the State1, and the European Union, in order to optimize the effects of actions at all levels.
A few figures:
• Through its Climate Plan, the City of Paris is committed to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 75% in 2050 (in relation to those of 2004).
• The streets of Paris are lined with more than 100,000 trees of more than 160 different species.
• Eco-activities in 2009: 112,000 jobs, a 17 billion euro turnover, 35,000 direct jobs in the sector.
Paris, a public-spirited world city
According to the Green City Index carried out by The Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Siemens, Paris ranks as the 10th greenest city in Europe and the 2nd greenest major city. Paris ranks 6th among the world’s most ‘resilient’ cities, that is those on their way to being a lowcarbon economy, according to Triple Pundit (media portal for businesses)
A socially-engaged city on the international scene
The City of Paris joins with international organizations in its commitment to sustainable development and in its efforts to combat climate change on a global scale. It has signed several initiatives.
• Mexico City Pact: pact of 135 elected officials from all over the world aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
• Commitment to the GoodPlanet Foundation’s ‘10:10’ campaign, signed on 7 October 2010,to reduce greenhouse emissions by 10% in a year
• C40 Cities: 40 initiatives against climate change for the world’s biggest cities.
• World Mayors Council on Climate Change: alliance of mayors of major cities whose commitment to sustainable development is recognized.
• The Aalborg Charter: adopted on 27 May 1994, this European cities charter advocates local sustainable development.
A socially-responsible city
The City of Paris supports international aid initiatives following natural disasters or in the event of emergency situations that require particular technical, logistic or financial aid. A case in point is its involvement in providing water sanitation and access to drinking water in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Nouakchott (Mauritania), in renovating districts in Rio de Janeiro, in the fight against Aids in Africa and in the defence of human rights within the framework of the ‘the Millennium Development Goals’.