The World is Watching Cities
The world has increased its focus on climate thanks to COP21 -- and cities have come into the spotlight. C40 is proud to help shine that light a little brighter through events like the C40 Forum and C40 Cities Awards; new paradigm-shifting research; and a series of announcements including a new network and a breakthrough finance facility.
Because cities are acting now, and we're right beside them as they become necessary leaders in this important cause.
As context to the pivotal meetings occuring in Paris, we're showcasing stories that help explain why a global agreement on climate change matters, and why cities are so vitally important to the success of any agreement.
Auckland Joins C40
Auckland has set a target of 40% emissions reduction by 2040 based on 1990 levels, a goal which is supported through the implementation of the Low Carbon Auckland Action Plan. The city is also embarking on major transformations of its transport system and urban development, investing well over NZ$3 billion over 10 years to create a modern and efficient public transport system.
Learn more about C40's newest member.
Compact of Mayors aggregate impact: the 400 city commitments made since its launch would realize over 50% of the 2020 global potential for urban GHG emissions reductions
A report published today also showed that Compact commitments could close 25% of the “gap” between national pledges for emissions reductions made in advance of this year’s COP21 summit, and those necessary to keep global warming below 2°C.
Paris success hinges on local commitments
There is consensus: there can be ne climate deal without nonstate actors. And planning for a climate-safe future must start now: "If you talk about getting to a 100 percent fossil fuel free system, you need to start planning now. A mayor has a lot more power over making quick, nimble change than what can be done at the federal level.”
Read more why #citiesarekey.
Cities are just getting started.
While C40 cities have already taken 10,000 climate actions between Copenhagen COP15 in 2009 and Paris COP21 in 2015, the potential for further delivery is much greater – a pool of 27,000 actions. Of these, the report identifies 2,300 priority actions which could be delivered by cities at an affordable sum with support from C40 and peer cities. If fully implemented, these priority measures would cut GHG emissions by 450MtCO2 by 2020 -- equivalent to the annual emissions of the United Kingdom.
2015 C40 Cities Award winners
Congratulations to the 10 winning cities:
- Carbon Measurement & Planning - Vancouver
- Adaptation Planning & Assessment - Rotterdam
- Building Energy Efficiency - New York
- Green Energy - Washington, DC
- Finance & Economic Development - Johannesburg
- Solid Waste - Wuhan
- Adaptation Implementation - Cape Town
- Smart Cities & Smart Community Engagement - Boston
- Sustainable Communities - Stockholm
- Transportation - Nanjing
Learn more about the awards, the winners and finalists, and watch the entire ceremony, filmed live in Paris during COP21.
Mayors Unite on Climate at COP21
“Your efforts enable your citizens to reduce their carbon footprint, breathe cleaner air and live more healthy lives,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told mayors and local leaders from all regions of the world during an event of the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, taking place on the margins of the UN climate change conference.
In addition to Michael R. Bloomberg and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, celebrities attending the event included Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Redford and Sean Penn, advocates for climate action who support UN efforts towards building a sustainable future.
Original Research: Climate Action in Megacities 3.0
C40 and Arup have released the third installment of their groundbreaking research. Cataloging 10,000 actions from the world's leading cities, the new report demonstrates the ability of mayors to share knowledge across geographic, political and economic boundaries: 30 percent of climate action measured was a result of city-to-city collaboration. It also shows that collaboration is accelerating the rate at which cities are acting – more than half (51 percent) of climate action is happening today at a city-wide scale, up from just 15 percent in 2011.
Get introduced to CAM 3.0 and or explore the microsite to earn more about how cities are responding to climate change today.
“Cities are drivers for change. Countries should change direction and pay attention to the lead provided by cities.”
Ahead of the Paris climate talks, Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera explained why nations should begin to look to their cities for leadership and direction. Read more in a recent story in The Guardian.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Antony Stanley
Sharing is working. So we're doing more of it.
C40 responds to the needs of its member cities. Today, at COP21 in Paris, C40 and Mastercard announced a new partnership to launch a Mobility Management network.
The network will assist cities to provide cheaper and quicker ways to improve transport capacity, efficiency and accessibility than investing in new infrastructure, which can be expensive and time-consuming, and can neglect efficiencies within existing systems.
C40 Citizens Love their Cities
C40 debuted its first ad for #CitiesAreKey, a global pro bono advertising campaign designed to underscore the leadership role that mayors and urban citizens are playing to tackle climate change on the road to the international climate talks in Paris, and beyond.
The campaign kicked off with an animated video broadcast on a digital billboard in London’s Piccadilly Circus and recently expanded to New York's Times Square.
Climate Summit for Local Leaders
While national governments are negotiating the final treaty that will attempt to limit rising global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius or lower, it is cities that more often than not absorb the biggest impacts of extreme weather and climate change. Fortunately, cities have the solutions to fight climate change. And they're sharing them with one another.
On December 4, Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of the City of Paris and Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change – in partnership with the global networks of cities and local governments for climate action – co-hosted the Climate Summit for Local Leaders – the largest global convening of mayors, governors and local leaders focused on climate change.
This historic event coincided with the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris, helping to ensure that the voices of local leaders are heard, and city efforts were recognized, during the international negotiation process, in order to reach a universal, legally binding agreement that will enable us to combat climate change effectively.
From the Office of the Chair
C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes is a global ambassador for cities. Learn more about this important thought leader and check back over the next few weeks as Mayor Paes presents the most important stories impacting mayors today, from his home city and the rest of C40's 80+ Cities on the #RoadToParis.
New Bike Lane Opens in Rio With Stunning Views of the Ocean
C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes recently opened the bike lane at Avenida Niemeyer to the public. The bike lane is 3.9 kilometers long and connects the neighborhoods of Leblon to São Conrado in the South Zone of the city. Cyclists are treated to a breathtaking view of the ocean along the way. By the end of 2016, it will be possible to go from Centro to the beach of Grumari, in the West Zone, using lanes exclusively built for bicycles.
C40 Welcomes Historic Agreement
“Today marks an historic moment in which the world’s nations have achieved a common agreement that will set the direction for global efforts to meet the climate change challenge. On behalf of C40 cities, representing more than half a billion people and a quarter of the global economy, I congratulate the negotiators in Paris for their efforts and the commitment of national leaders to deliver this deal." - Eduardo Paes, C40 Chair and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro
Paes on New Finance Facility for Global South Cities
At COP21, C40 Cities, Germany and the Inter American Development Bank (IADB) announced a new finance facility that aims to unlock up to US$1 billion worth of sustainable infrastructure in cities across low and middle-income countries by 2020.
“The C40 Cities Finance Facility represents a massive opportunity for cities, particularly those in the Global South,” said Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro and C40 Chair. “The project represents a significant step forward in delivering one of my strategic aims as C40 Chair, and will allow cities to leverage significant public and private financing for green infrastructure projects, enabling cities to accelerate their ambitious emissions reductions.”
Rio City Hall opens the Museum of Tomorrow
Built in Porto Maravilha, the Museum of Tomorrow opens to the public on 19 January. A cultural anchor for the revitalizing project in the Port Area, the museum is the most expressive symbol of the renewal that the 5 million sq. meters area is going through. The space analyses the past, showcases present trends, and explores possible scenarios for the next 50 years through the lens of sustainability and camaraderie.
Mayors and citizens of C40 cities urge nations to act on climate change
Mayor Eduardo Paes and the world's leading mayors are urging national leaders to reach an ambitious, universal climate agreement in Paris. As of today, 25 C40 mayors have signed the Earth Statement, an appeal to national political leaders to commit to eight essential elements of climate action at COP21. The Earth Statement is written by leading scientists and economists who together form the Earth League.
For mayors, the ‘Road to Paris’ began more than a decade ago
In an editorial for UNEP's Climate Action, Chair of C40 and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, wrote: "For the past year, governments, businesses and citizens around the world have anticipated COP21 as some kind of last chance to turn the tide of global climate change. And yes, a strong international agreement is an important step towards ensuring a climate-safe future. But no matter what happens, cities and their leaders will continue to move steadily forward on their mandate of making their cities better places to live and work. The decisions mayors make every day to serve their citizens are the same actions driving us toward a brighter future."
Paes in Newsweek: “We can no longer postpone actions against the consequences of climate change, which we already are feeling.”
“We can no longer postpone actions against the consequences of climate change, which we already are feeling,” says Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro...Rio, like other cities in the global south, has experienced a range of recent extreme weather events, including avalanches due to sudden violent rains and a continuing drought that is stressing water supplies across Brazil.
Mayor Paes celebrates city accomplishments at C40 Cities Awards
Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, helped C40 celebrate city accomplishments at the third annual C40 Cities Awards. Paes said, “As leaders from around the world meet in Paris to agree binding emission targets, the efforts of these 10 Award-winning cities remind us that innovation drives results, and concrete solutions and actions – that improve the health, well-being and economic opportunities of urban citizens -- can be implemented right now. I thank our esteemed Jury Panel and commend my fellow mayors for their leadership and commitment to tackle climate change. By taking local action, we are having a global impact."
Read more about the 10 winning cities from 2013.
A Digital Revolution for Democracy
"Through Polisdigitocracy – the use of open data, social media and digital technology to drive citizen engagement – we must listen, renew legitimacy and turn formal consultation into constant collaboration. Polisdigitocracy has incredible potential to help our cities engage and excite citizens to achieve our common goals." Mayor Eduardo Paes.
Read the new report, "Polisdigitocracy: Digital Technology, Citizen Engagement and Climate Action"
Leading on the Compact of Mayors
C40 Chair and Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes announced his city’s full compliance with the Compact of Mayors, making it the first city in the world to reach the Compact compliance milestone.
Mayor Paes also issued a call for peer Brazilian cities -- and all world cities alike -- to join onto the compact.
Greenbiz: We need a 'total change of paradigm'
"People live in cities, not states or nations, so they have to be taken into consideration in the agreements. As mayors, we are closer to people than heads of state. Around the world, mayors have taken the lead and shown the actions through networks like C40." - Mayor Paes, Chair of C40
Uniting Mayors Worldwide
As C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes is working on behalf of all C40 Mayors to carve a new role for city leaders on the global stage. Above, Mayor Paes meets with China's Premier Li Keqiang to discuss the advancement of climate action in Chinese cities.