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Cities Form World's Largest Alliance to Fight Climate Change

Michael Bloomberg, U.N. special envoy for cities and climate change, speaks to reporters at EU headquarters in Brussels about cities' cooperative efforts to combat climate change, June 22, 2016.

Cities on six continents have formed the world's largest alliance to combat climate change, a move intended to help make ground-level changes to slow global warming.

More than 7,100 cities in 119 countries on Wednesday formed the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a network for exchanging information on such goals as developing clean energy, organizers said.

Cities are responsible for an estimated 75 percent of carbon emissions contributing to climate change and consume 70 percent of global energy, according to the U.N. Environment Program.

"When mayors share a vision of a low-carbon future and roll up their sleeves, things get done," Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice president and co-chairman of the new alliance, said in a statement.

The coalition is the world's largest, representing 8 percent of the world's population, its founders said. It results from the merger of two groups: the European Union's Covenant of Mayors and the U.N.-backed Compact of Mayors.

The other co-chairman is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire philanthropist who helped launch the Compact of Mayors.

Bloomberg has worked with mayors around the world to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. He predicted the new coalition would help deliver on commitments to limit global warming, made by officials of 195 countries who met in Paris last year.

"This is a giant step forward in the work of achieving the goals that nations agreed to," Bloomberg said in a statement.

The Paris agreement will become binding on state governments when at least 55 countries, representing 55 percent of emissions of greenhouse gases, ratify it.