The C40 Blog serves as the paper of record for C40 and provides a
platform for sharing important, diverse perspectives on current
issues from C40 Mayors, field staff, partners and international
Early in the new year the Guardian newspaper asked some of the world’s most prominent scientists if it was still possible to prevent catastrophic climate change. The bleak assessment from all but one respondent was that it is not. One called it “on the fanciful edge of implausible”. This not only made for depressing reading, but also provided a marked contrast to the sense of determined optimism that pervaded C40’s mayoral summit a few weeks earlier. Gathered in Mexico City, mayors of the Steering Committee – C40’s elected leadership – voted unanimously to adopt a target of constraining global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average (the toughest goal of the Paris Climate Agreement), and to make it a condition of C40 membership that all cities have a plan to deliver their proportionate contribution towards this goal.
Through C40’s Private Building Efficiency Network, cities work together to improve the energy efficiency of existing commercial and residential buildings. In 2014 several cities, led by Tokyo, developed the report Urban Efficiency: a global survey of building energy efficiency policies in cities. The report incorporated best practices from around the world, including financial incentives, sectoral benchmarking, and building optimisation programmes into city energy plans and roadmaps. Other cities used it as an evidence base to push for the introduction of new, ambitious building energy policies or expand already successful schemes. We hope the next instalment of this report will prove just as valuable.
At the end of 2016, just a few days before Donald Trump named Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, as his choice to run the Environmental Protection Agency, C40, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change, released its new report Deadline 2020.
The Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, today officially opened C40’s permanent office in the city. Drawing on the unique expertise in sustainable urban development found in Copenhagen, the new C40 office will serve as a centre for the network’s global Business, Economy and Innovation Programme. By supporting greater cooperation between C40 cities and the private sector they will help to overcome one of the major barriers to mayors delivering on their ambitious climate change agendas.
Access to financing is one of the major barriers cities face in their sustainability efforts, as identified in new C40 research. Mayors and city officials from around the world are responding to this challenge by pursuing innovative, strategic private sector partnerships and pioneering business models to reach their goals.