4 June 2024

ICLEI Members elect new global leadership

ICLEI Members from cities and regions committed to sustainability all over the world have elected their political leadership board for 2024 – 2027. The election comes just weeks ahead of ICLEI’s triennial World Congress, a gathering of over 1,000 urban leaders pushing for ambitious local sustainability action. 

New ICLEI president, Mayor of Malmö (Sweden), Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, will also serve as the Chair of the Sustainable, Circular and Innovation Procurement Portfolio. She is the first leader from Scandinavia to hold the office of ICLEI President and the first female president since 2003. She will be supported by newly elected ICLEI Vice Presidents, Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku (Finland), Marjorie Kauffmann, Secretary of State for Environment and Infrastructure, State of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), and Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen (Morocco).

ICLEI governance members have a strong role in delivering on ICLEI’s mission, by galvanizing local and regional governments in calls to action, pioneering and piloting initiatives, building cross-institutional relationships and encouraging ICLEI Members to consistently work in the pursuit of sustainable development. ICLEI’s elected leadership serve as powerful advocates in the multilateral global sustainability arena, bringing the concerns, needs and challenges of local and subnational governments to the forefront, while pressing for increased sustainability ambition on global and national levels.

Mayor Jammeh, says “It is my great honour to serve as ICLEI President for the coming three years. As a network, we are united by our mutual ambition and determination to stem the tide of climate change, and address the crises of biodiversity loss and pollution. If we are to succeed, then more influence and greater funding must be given to the local level, and we must amplify our common voice and make sure that we are granted a seat at the decision-making tables. We also know that our environmental solutions must be inclusive and not worsen existing inequalities between people. Because if the transition is not affordable, it’s not sustainable.” 

Mayor Jammeh has served as Mayor of Malmö since 2013 and is the first woman to hold that office. An ICLEI Member since 1998, the City of Malmö is a climate-smart knowledge city, listed as the fourth most innovative in the world by OECD. Malmö is working actively for sustainability initiatives and is the first city in Sweden that has publicly announced the commitment to implement the UN SDGs.

The City of Malmö is a dynamic knowledge center built on cultural diversity, youth and sustainable development.  Under Mayor Jammeh’s leadership, the city has adopted a unique approach to sustainability, with environmental, financial and social effects all forming part of the equation. Several new climate-smart city districts have been developed, and old areas are being improved using new environmental technology. By 2030 the whole city of Malmö will be supplied with 100% renewable energy.

Mayor Jammeh has also put international support of other cities at the core of her priorities. When the City of Malmö hosted the triennial ICLEI World Congress in 2021-2022, Mayor Jammeh founded the pioneering Malmö Commitment, a pledge which encourages sustainable approaches, innovation, adaptability, participation, and inclusiveness in policy-making to tackle the current climate and nature emergencies, by embedding social equity at the core of their local sustainable development. 

When the UN introduced the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Malmö was the first city in Sweden to turn these into guiding principles for local development work, and today they form the backbone of overall steering and management of the city’s entire organization. In 2022, the City was named a Making Cities Resilient 2030 Resilience Hub. Under Mayor Jammeh’s leadership, Malmö has also responded proactively to SDG 14, Life Below Water, becoming a Local Ocean Action Hub in 2017.

For more information about ICLEI’s governance and our new global leadership click here.