We are pleased to announce that Francisco Maciel is the new chairman of the LEDS Global Partnership for a 2-year period from May 2020 through April 2022. We look forward to his leadership and guidance on the path forward. Francisco Maciel has over 25 years of experience in climate change and sustainable development, in both the public and private sectors. He has been an advisor on numerous innovative and green technology projects and was the founder of the Carbon Free Mechanism. He was also a member of the Mercosur Executive Directive Board for Cities (Mercociudades). Currently, Francisco is the CEO of CIOESTE, the largest consortia of subnational governments in Brazil.
Welcome words from our Chairman
As the new chairman of the LEDS GP Steering Committee, I was asked to share a personal statement with the members. In times of global pandemic writing a statement like this has become quite awkward. One is supposed to present opportunities and solutions, pinpoint the silver linings to some of the biggest issues we are facing, and discuss how we might reimagine humanity’s trajectory. Many people around the world are working hard to figure out how best to manage this pandemic, keep its impact to a minimum, and navigate a safe path forward. Quarantines, isolation, physical distancing (even from our loved ones) – these things that once seemed extraordinary are quickly becoming the new normal. Even in the midst of so much flux, there are aspects of our lives that not even a pandemic can change. We are social and compassionate beings and we are finding ways to stay connected through calls and video conferencing. We start every work meeting sharing with others what we’re experiencing in our neighborhoods and at the municipal and national levels. These calls will never replace the value of in-person contact, but for me they represent the human desire to connect, to share, to feel, to exchange, and to ultimately come together, in the spirit of cooperation, with a shared mission, and chart our collective path to a prosperous future. And this, I believe, is the ethos of the LEDS GP. It’s about peer-to-peer learning, connection, and open dialogue. And it’s inclusive by encouraging the participation of students, experts, and representatives from cities, national governments, and the private sector. Together, we are learning how best to embrace and advance sustainable development at the local and global level. We can make this world a better place and in a way that is inclusive and fair to all. We’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot of improvements to make. I’m proud to collaborate with the diverse stakeholders of the LEDS GP knowing that our success in solving our climate crisis depends on each of us and how far we are willing to engage and be part of the change we want to see.
Our Chairman’s interview
Considering the global climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, what is your key message to the LEDS GP members about the importance of climate-resilient, low-emission development?
COVID-19 has caused a broad wave of destruction and we can see it everywhere. At the micro- and macro-economic level, governance, society, this pandemic has caused many of us to not only question how we live but the meaning of life itself. It’s remarkable and in this way it’s really similar to the global climate crisis. Both crises require that we take urgent action to mitigate the impact they are having on vulnerable populations around the world – we need a change in paradigms. Coming from the LEDS GP community, in which we have already been proposing and testing systems geared toward long-term sustainability, we’re always thinking about societal arrangements that help us define, and even redefine, human well-being. It really feels like we are in the middle of a major storm and the only way out is through open dialogue about short- and long-term priorities, mitigation, adaptation, public administration, the role of the private sector and civil society, the role of every institution and even our role as individuals. This will require an unprecedented level of transparency and we also need to address these issues with just the right mixture of empirical and theoretical approaches that allow us to implement and test the most effective solutions. We will also need to develop completely new mechanisms and schemes. Huge challenge. Tremendous changes afoot; but brimming with opportunities.
What do you see as the role of the LEDS GP in addressing climate change as well as social and economic priorities?
LEDS GP is strongly differentiated from other platforms due to its robust peer-to-peer cooperation, its inclusivity and potential to create a more humane world. The platform also helps to prevent this feeling of solitude and despair – things already afflicting urban populations and which have only been worsened due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sharing experiences and collaborating on common goals have played no small role in overcoming previous challenges and they will remain crucial elements to our success moving forward as we meet head on the challenges of climate change and transform our societies. LEDS GP helps us do this. The LEDS GP agile and informal approach helps to build the momentum among participating members and keeps us all motivated to act as agents of change as we address climate, social and economic priorities. LEDS GP support members to develop the tools and policies they need to be leaders who advocate for, and implement, short- and long-term strategies to achieve their goals.
What is one key message you would like to share with LEDS GP members about the value you see of the partnership and its ability to advance and raise ambition of climate and development goals?
The times have changed and the world with it. No one is an island and our success as individuals is reliant on our ability to effectively cooperate with others. The members of LEDS GP are proactive and the platform itself helps to augment our professional and personal ambitions to be agents of change and achieve our climate and development goals. The LEDS GP network is innovative as it exists for the members and can be accessed by all – it is a mechanism where people can leverage each other´s expertise and cooperate on joint projects and peer-to-peer learning to address climate change and achieve sustainable development. Be active. Raise your expectations. Access the platform. Provide feedback. Always be open to cooperation with your peers around the world and let’s go beyond our expectations.
Let’s rock. LEDS rock!