Davis, California, USA, 17 November 2010 - The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has joined regional, state and provincial leaders and representatives of non-governmental organizations in a new sub-national effort to break the current climate negotiation impasse.
Prince Hussain Aga Khan, son of His Highness the Aga Khan, signed the Charter for Regions of Climate Action (R20 Charter) yesterday, on behalf of the Aga Khan Development Network. The mission of the R20 – a new global organization – will be to develop and implement low-carbon and climate resilient projects through cooperation among subnational governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions from around the world.
The signing took place at the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3, held at the University of California at Davis. 1,500 participants from more than 80 states, provinces and countries, including key representatives from the AKDN attended the event. The Summit is one of the largest gatherings of regional leaders from around the world focused on climate solutions. In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Environment Programme and co-sponsored by UC Davis, the Summit was co-hosted by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski. Distinguished speakers included George P. Schultz, former US Secretary of State; Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Nobel laureate, climate change expert and Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Deepak Chopra, author and physician; British Prime Minister David Cameron via satellite; and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales via video message.
During its first year, the R20 will facilitate public-private partnerships, share best practices, accelerate the development of green innovations, and begin implementing clean energy demonstration projects. Within five years, the R20 aims to have at least 20 subnational governments enact comprehensive low-carbon policies and implement projects, using successful models from progressive subnational leaders as a guide.
Through these efforts, the R20 will expand the global green economy, create new green jobs and build commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Demonstration projects will further show that 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions reductions, needed by 2020 to limit the increase in world average temperature to 2°C, can be achieved at no net cost and that many projects will generate new economic benefits.
AKDN is a major sponsor of the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3 and also sponsored the two previous Summits. This year’s summit continued to expand the network of subnational collaboration to share policies and strategies on how to grow the green economy, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, create green jobs, promote clean energy solutions and curb greenhouse gas pollution.
David Boyer, Senior Director of the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment addressed the plenary stating “Poor and marginalized communities are on the front lines of climate change. … But any attempt to address climate resilience must take into account a complete picture of how local communities live in their environments. … His Highness the Aga Khan has a vision for holistic multi-input area development. This approach brings together the economic, environmental, social and cultural agencies of the Network not only to create jobs and improve opportunities for people in impoverished regions, but to strengthen the communities' resilience to climate change.” A film screened at the plenary, entitled “AKDN: Building Resilient Communities,” illustrated AKDN's ongoing work to strengthen community resilience in a variety of sectors, including community-managed hydro electric power, energy-efficient household products in Pakistan and green spaces in Cairo, Egypt and Bamako, Mali.
AKDN has been working on an integrated approach to sustainable development for over four decades, to raise incomes, promote quality education and healthcare, improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for individuals and communities in Africa and Asia. The rationale for integrating environmental and ecological concerns into development activities arises from AKDN’s experience which demonstrates that economic, social and cultural factors all affect environmental issues. Solutions to environmental problems cannot be implemented in isolation from the problems of human habitats. All of the environment-related activities undertaken by the AKDN are therefore integrated into other development activities such as healthcare, education, cultural revitalization and economic development.
Partnerships formed at the Summit will help expand opportunities among states and provinces that complement existing efforts to further explore specific mitigation and adaption strategies. For more information visit the GGCS3 website.
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims. It is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. The Network’s nine development agencies focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The AKDN’s underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for philanthropic activity is in excess of US$500 million.
The AKDN’s Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment is dedicated to practical solutions to environmental problems. Its major programs focus on the link between the scarcity of natural resources and poverty in the developing world; the preservation of fragile mountain ecosystems; animal protection; and initiatives in environmental education. The Fund will concentrate its activities in six main areas: environmental education; natural resource management in fragile zones; nature parks and wildlife reserves; environmentally and culturally appropriate tourism infrastructure; environmental health; and research.
For more information, contact:
Communications and Public Affairs Officer
Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.
1825 K Street, NW #901
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 203-0838
Aga Khan Council for USA
Phone: (206) 910-9601