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Oakville mayor, town staff in Dubai for climate conference


Mayor Rob Burton, his chief of staff Jorge Gomez, and town CAO Jane Clohecy are in Dubai as part of the United Nations Climate Change conference (COP28) that kicked off on Thursday.

The event – which brings together world leaders to seek agreements on ways to address the climate crisis – is taking place in the United Arab Emirates from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12.

Burton was invited to participate in the inaugural Local Climate Action Summit – described as a "first-of-its-kind gathering to recognize the critical role local leaders play in reducing emissions, addressing climate risk, and supercharging national efforts to move further and faster on climate progress."

The summit is hosted by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who now serves as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions. 

"Local leaders play a critical role in raising global climate ambition," said Bloomberg, in a press release. "At COP28, for the first time, their efforts will be formally recognized in the summit’s programming, a breakthrough that will help empower them to seek more support for their ambitious agendas."

The summit’s four core themes are:

  • Transforming local climate finance,
  • Integrating local contributions to enhance global action
  • Fast-tracking the local energy transition; and
  • Strengthening local resilience and adaptation.

The summit's agenda and livestreams can be viewed online here.

"Having a presence at the conference will be an opportunity for the town to showcase its efforts in response to the climate change emergency declared in 2019, learn from others, and identify opportunities that can further the town’s efforts and commitments when it comes to climate action," said the town’s communication department.

"There is also an opportunity to influence policy and regulatory changes at the federal and provincial level that could benefit the municipal level of government."

Organizers of the summit have paid for the cost of the trip for the mayor and Gomez. The town is paying about $13,000 to send Clohecy to the summit.

The three of them left on Nov. 29 and will return this Sunday, Dec. 3.