City Diplomacy Briefing, July 2017

Thanks to the unprecedented mobilization of non-state actors, the world stands firm on the Paris Agreement.

From the announcement by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, to the G20 affirming that the climate accord is ‘irreversible’, the last weeks have proven that the world stands committed to act on climate change, with or without the US federal government. The unprecedented mobilization of non-state actors for climate action, particularly cities and states, shows that “radical collaboration” is key to a climate-safe future.

Trump’s climate mishap sparks global action by cities

While President Trump’s decision on the Paris Agreement could have hindered the political momentum set in motion at COP21, instead it appears to have reinvigorated the drive for climate action around the world. The immediate reaction to his decision, by nations, states, regions, cities, businesses and civil society, was overwhelmingly supportive of the implementation of the Paris Agreement. At the time of writing 359 US mayors have pledged to make the Paris Agreement objectives their own, some through executive orders, or by joining the We Are Still In and America’s Pledge initiatives. C40 cities are at the forefront of this movement.

Read more on how mayors led the global response to Trump’s pull out of the Paris Agreement from C40’s Executive Director Mark Watts.

Governor Brown announces 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in California

Governor Jerry Brown of California also recently announced an important milestone for climate action: the State of California will host the 2018 Global Climate Action (GCA) Summit to take stock of the progress and commitments of cities, states, regions, businesses and civil society organizations ahead of COP24, to take place in Poland at the end of 2018, and formulate recommendations for the Facilitative Dialogue, an official process that will assess progress made on pre-2020 climate action. This will provide a unique opportunity for cities to demonstrate their leadership on the world stage. C40 strongly supports the Summit and will be bringing hard evidence of how C40 cities are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in order to create a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable world.

More info: Supporting statement of Mark Watts on GCA Summit Announcement | Governor Jerry Brown announcement of the GCA Summit

G20 Summit calls the Paris Agreement “irreversible” and leaves the US isolated

The G20 Summit, held in Hamburg, Germany on July 7-8 was Trump’s first multilateral meeting after his announcement on the Paris Agreement and a crucial test for the strength of global action on climate change. Ahead of the Summit, C40 mayors and their citizens, through an op-ed, petition and joint global campaign with states, investors, businesses and NGOs, called for an ambitious G20 position on climate and clear signals that delivering the Paris Agreement is a priority. As a result, a united G19 released a strong communiqué defining the Paris Agreement as ‘irreversible’ and agreed to a Climate and Energy Action Plan including references to low-carbon and climate strategies for 2050 as engines of growth and investments, synergies with the Sustainable Development Agenda, access to energy and the necessity to align development cooperation and financial flows with the Paris Agreement. As we embark on an age of unique collective action, we look forward to solidifying these partnerships at COP23, the GCA Summit and the G20 next year in Argentina.

More info: Statement by Anne Hidalgo on the outcome of the G20 | C40 G20 Op-Ed | Friends of Climate Action Press Release | G20 final communique | G20 Climate and Energy Action Plan