Rio de Janeiro

Brazil
Mayor Marcelo Crivella, Elected 2016

Rio de Janeiro in our Blog

The decision this week by European leaders to fast-track ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change is historic. It is now certain that less than one year will have passed from the beginning of the COP21 climate negotiations in December 2015 to the moment when the Paris Agreement will come into force. These weeks and months are when the nations of the world stared over the precipice of catastrophic climate change and chose to act. By standards of international diplomacy, the ratification of the Paris Agreement has been remarkably swift. Leaders of the many nations who have ratified the deal deserve our praise and gratitude. From the biggest emitters, China, the United States and the European Union, to the smallest Island nations that are most at risk from the effects of climate change, each has recognized the scale of the threat we face and acted with commendable speed.

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Today, C40 Chair-Elect, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo launched “Cap sur la COP22,” a public exhibition that showcases actions cities, citizens and local businesses take every day to combat climate change. In the large photograph installations along the Seine river, “Cap sur la COP22” highlights the accomplishments a number of C40 cities have achieved since the Paris Agreement and the challenges that lie ahead. 

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The G20 summit in Hangzhou will be the first meeting of leaders from the world’s largest economies since the Paris Agreement on climate change was announced in December 2015. This agreement, adopted by 195 states, represents unprecedented global solidarity and commitment to action. Despite the numerous political and economic disruptions the world has seen over the past year, many countries are already taking steps to ratify the agreement as soon as possible. As host of the Hangzhou Summit, China deserves particular recognition for its leadership in implementing the Paris Agreement through long-term domestic policies and for having such a strong, bold focus on sustainable growth in its 13th Five-Year Plan. In China, swift action is already engaging businesses and investors in helping to grow the country’s low-carbon economy. It represents a compelling example for others to follow. Delivering the Paris ambition to limit global temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels requires economic, political and social change unlike anything before. It can only be addressed with the leadership and commitment of the G20 members, with the support of their largest cities.

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Global leaders in city finance met in Rio de Janeiro on 5 April 2016 for the first-of-its-kind global forum to accelerate the financing of climate action in cities. The C40 Financing Sustainable Cities Forum brought together over 130 representatives from government, non-government organisations and financial institutions to collaborate on solutions to bridge the gap between city climate ambitions and the investment community.
 

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Today, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and the City of Rio de Janeiro announced a first-of-its-kind global financing forum to accelerate city climate action. The C40 Financing Sustainable Cities Forum – hosted along with the Citi Foundation and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities – will bring together senior decision-makers from financial institutions, the private sector and more than a dozen city governments from across the globe. The Forum will take place April 5-7 at the City of Rio de Janeiro’s iconic new Museum of Tomorrow.

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The great Italian writer Italo Calvino once wrote “You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours.” Indeed, throughout human history, people have looked to cities for answers – to questions of economics, trade, public health, culture and education. This week, as national leaders begin to consider how they will deliver on the deal agreed at the international climate negotiations in Paris, they should turn to cities once again for answers.

An op-ed by Eduardo Paes, C40 Chair and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, and Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

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Since the inauguration of his pontificate, in 2013, Pope Francis has been an example of inspiring and courageous leadership, combining strategic vision and practical action to help the Church overcome its major challenges. As a global leader, the Holy Father lives up to the tradition of great Popes that in singular and difficult moments of humanity’s history, convened the population to a more coordinated and thorough action. Francis has just bequeathed to all of us and to future generations what may become the great legacy of his pontificate, the encyclical "Laudato si, on the care of common home."

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Latin American cities have enormous potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions – C40 research indicates that together they could cut emissions by 2,500 MtCO2 by 2030, or the equivalent of taking 526 million cars off the road. Fortunately, many Latin American cities are already taking bold climate action, creating and implementing sustainable solutions to enhance the quality of life of urban citizens across the continent. We are proud to present some of the region’s most notable accomplishments here.

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Today C40 held its first-ever Latin American Mayors Forum, hosted by Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri and attended by more than 15 mayors and vice-mayors from the region. During the Forum, it was announced that 20 Latin American mayors have joined the Compact of Mayors, and 20 global C40 cities have committed to pursuing clean buses. These two major declarations signify the bold actions cities around the world are taking in the global fight against climate change.

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I have some very important anniversaries to attend to this year. March 1st marks the 450th anniversary of the founding of Rio de Janeiro, while 2015 also sees the 10th anniversary of the creation of C40 and the first anniversary of my tenure as Chairman. As one might imagine, I am bursting with pride to lead the 450th birthday celebrations throughout the year – festivities and developments that will last until 2016, when we will welcome the Olympic family for the Games in August and September.

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C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes and Mexico City Mayor Dr. Miguel Ángel Mancera announced today that Mexico City has been selected to host next C40 Mayors Summit on November 8 – 11, 2016. The Summit will bring together global C40 mayors and urban sustainability leaders to advance urban solutions to climate change and highlight the leadership role of cities in addressing climate change. 

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Last week, global experts on climate change adaptation and resilience gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the first C40 Climate Change Risk Assessment Network workshop.  Representatives from 10 of the nearly 30 Network member cities – Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, New York City, Vancouver, Dar es Salaam, Johannesburg, Barcelona and Rome – spent three days together in a lively exchange of ideas, approaches and solutions.

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Through a range of well-designed bus services, the city of Rio de Janeiro is showing the world its efforts to provide better public transport for the city’s population. By the time four bus rapid transit (BRT) lines will have been opened in 2016, the share of trips made by mass transit (public transport) in Rio is expected to increase from 18 to 63 per cent.

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Next week, C40 and Siemens will announce the finalists for the second annual C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards. But before that happens, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the projects that won last year for demonstrating climate leadership in areas as diverse as urban transportation and adaptation and resilience.

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With the World Cup now underway, all eyes are on the cities of Brazil playing host to the epic, international football competition. But there’s more to celebrate, according to C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. His city recently took the opportunity to mark World Environment Day, with trademark exuberance. Engaging citizens, businesses, NGOs and governmental actors, Rio held a series of events, exhibitions and activities to celebrate Rio’s achievements in the environmental and sustainability sectors, but also to confront the challenges it – and all global cities -- face.

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In the lead-up to next week’s C40 Mayors Summit, where Climate Adaptation and Resilience will be key themes, we hear from C40’s very own Mandy Ikert about an exciting new collaboration to help cities prepare for the shocks and stresses of climate change.

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Seoul, Houston & Rio de Janeiro were featured last week on CNN International’s mini-series The City, as part of the network’s ongoing collaboration with the C40. The series profiles the sustainable future of five C40 cities on five different continents and features C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg discussing how cities are leading the way in addressing the risks that climate change poses.

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C40 city Rio de Janeiro’s COMLURB, Latin America’s largest solid waste management company, announced on World Environment Day that it will soon test a hybrid hydraulic truck — the first of its kind in Brazil. The truck, manufactured by MAN/Volkswagen, uses advanced technology that is expected to reduce both its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15 percent.

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A few years ago hybrid buses were just technologies for wealthy countries. A couple of years ago battery electric buses were just a luxurious dream. Today, C40 cities like Bogota, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Santiago de Chile can tell the world that those low carbon techs are ready to run in these cities, and for good.

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This week, C40 Chair and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg held a press conference with the Mayor of Johannesburg, Mpho Parks Tau, announcing the 2014 C40 Mayors Summit. Mayor Tau said that the summit is “a historic moment for Johannesburg.” But when the mayors, their staff members, and climate experts gather in 2014, they will not be working from a blank slate. It will be the fifth summit of its kind, all of which have proven to be key moments to accelerate the C40 memberships’ efforts to further reduce carbon emissions and improve the quality of life in their cities.

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During the C40 Mayors Summit in Sao Paulo a year ago, Mayor Bloomberg made it clear that “cities are on the front line” in the fight against climate change. During the Summit, the C40 Steering Committee looked ahead to Rio+20 and drafted a communiqué for Rio participants to highlight the increasingly important role cities play in adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change. The final document submitted to the UN called for cities to receive greater recognition and support, as well as a seat at the table in international negotiations on sustainable development.

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When C40 City Rio de Janeiro took stock of risks and challenges -- from extreme weather, to traffic congestion, to upcoming mega-events such as Rio+20, it decided to create the Operations Center in the service of Cariocas (the citizens of Rio de Janeiro). Built in record time and located in the central zone of the city, Rio City Hall’s Operations Center was launched in December 2010, and remains one of the most cutting-edge centers of its kind in the world.

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On February 29th, I had the great honour to be one of the speakers of the TED 2012’s session about cities. The fact that I was invited to take part in an event that has already hosted personalities such as Bill Gates, Richard Dawkins and Bill Clinton, proves that Rio is really living a special moment. The world is clearly curious to learn about the projects that are transforming the marvellous city into a more sustainable and socially integrated city.

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The Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), a program of the William J. Clinton Foundation, today announced that Rio de Janeiro, a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), has become the first city to test hybrid buses as part of the CCI/C40 Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program. The City of Rio will start to test buses this month with more cities following soon. The goal of the CCI/C40 Hybrid & Electric Bus Test Program is to develop a market for fuel efficient, low-carbon buses in Latin America, and was developed at the request of C40 Cities.

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Is climate change a fight or an opportunity? Our ability to address the issue may rest in our perception of the problem, says Cristina Mendonca, our City Director in Rio de Janeiro. Rio is a C40 city and host of next year’s Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. A chemical engineer with longtime experience in the energy sector, Cristina joined our organization in 2007.

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