Press Release: Mayors Agree To Bold And Concrete Actions To Meet Paris Agreement

New report from C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group provides concrete recommendations for cities to meet aggressive goals and halt climate change

$40 million contribution from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Realdania will accelerate climate action at the city level over next four years

C40 Cities welcomes Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, as new chair

Mexico City, Mexico (1 December 2016) – Today, one year after the critical Paris Climate Agreement, global mayors from the world’s megacities are meeting in Mexico City at the C40 Mayors Summit to commit to turn the climate deal agreed by nation states from aspiration to action.

The mayors will welcome Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, as the group’s new chair and discuss findings from critical research released today by C40 in partnership with Arup. According to Deadline 2020: How Cities Will Get the Job Done, in order to meet the Paris Agreement target to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world’s megacities must act to peak emissions by 2020 and then nearly halve carbon emissions for every citizen in a decade, from an average of 5 tons CO2e per capita today to 3 tons CO2e per capita by 2030.

As over 40 mayors will show at the C40 Mayors Summit, cities are already committed to cleaner, lower carbon cities because it is the best way to improve their citizens’ standards of living. According to Deadline 2020, this leadership from C40cities is also critical to deliver the Paris Agreement. If all cities of 100,000 people or more act on the recommendations in the report, the world will achieve 40% of the emissions reductions necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The report also found that achieving this goal will require that approximately $375 billion in investment is focused on low carbon infrastructure in C40 cities over the next four years – investments that will transform and improve entire economies by creating jobs, bolstering infrastructure, improving public health and making cities more livable.

Deadline 2020 provides concrete steps for cities to meet their part of this obligation, offering a roadmap of thousands of actions. A full link to the report can be found online, however, key recommendations include:

  • Ramping up action: 11,000 actions are already underway in C40 cities. Within four years, 14,000 additional Actions will have to be in the pipeline across C40’s membership, moving from planning and pilot stages to full transformative, city-wide initiatives.
  • Focus on buildings and transit sectors: Taking these Actions and ensuring 54% are at a transformative, city-wide scale by 2020 is fundamental to reaching zero emissions by 2050.
  • Smart urban planning can make all the difference: the development of compact, connected, and coordinated cities enable significant indirect emissions savings and avoids locking-in a high emissions from inefficient infrastructure.
  • Partnerships and collaboration within cities will be fundamental to delivering the Deadline 2020 Action pathway, but are not sufficient. Cities must work beyond administrative boundaries, collaborating with regional and national-level actors and more to ensure the national and international infrastructure that supplies them is also transformed to meet future targets.

“Cities are rising to the climate challenge. They are engaging with each other, working together, weaving a web above and beyond national and cultural differences,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair-elect. “We need to bring in citizens and the private sector. We must reach the leaders of global finance, to join us in bringing about the energetic and ecological shift towards a climate safe world.”

To underscore the importance of cities in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, and to fund the critical work that must be achieved by 2020, Michael R. Bloomberg, as President of the C40 Board of Directors and UN Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, announced a joint $40 million commitment over four years to C40 from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Realdania.  

“In order for the world to reach the goals of the Paris agreement, cities and their mayors must lead the way - and they are, because they understand the major economic and public health benefits of fighting climate change. C40's new report will help to accelerate that work and spread success to more cities around the world,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate and President of the Board of C40. “In her new role as C40 chair, I know Mayor Hidalgo will continue showing the bold creativity that has made Paris a climate leader, and build on the great work that Mayor Paes has done at C40 over the last three years.”

As host of the C40 Mayors Summit 2016, I am delighted to welcome representatives of more than 90 cities to Mexico City,” said Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Ángel Mancera. “The incredible turnout of city leaders shows just how determined we are to tackle climate change.”

At the Summit, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo officially stepped into her role as Chair of C40 Cities. This move cements the leadership role she assumed during the COP21 negotiations, when Mayor Hidalgo’s steady hand and determination encouraged an outpouring of both local and international support for the Paris climate talks.  Mayor Hidalgo is succeeding Mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes in the role. Under Mayor Paes’ tenure, C40 grew from 66 to 90 in member cities, created a C40 Finance Facility to support cities in the Global South – now the majority of C40’s membership, and pushed cities to the fore of important climate conversations through what Mayor Paes dubbed “city diplomacy.”  

“I could not be more proud of what C40 has accomplished over the past three years,” said Mayor Paes. “We went from an outside agitator to having a seat at the table at the climate negotiations. I am especially honoured that on my last day as C40 Chair, we were able to welcome four new cities to our community, including three from the Global South. Now more than ever, the developing world needs to be heard and counted in the climate fight.”

The Danish philanthropic association Realdania works to improve the quality of life through the built environment and has been funding partner of C40 since 2014. Realdania’s CEO Jesper Nygård, says:

“C40 is a partnership of great, visionary cities and an incredibly talented and committed organization that have come together to combat the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. And as cities and organization we have accomplished a lot over the past few years. However the monumental task of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C is still before us, and Realdania is enormously proud to continue our commitment to the partnership, as we now dig in to enable ever more climate action which improves quality of life for citizens today and safeguards humanity for the future.

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation works with a wide range of partners to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children in developing countries. Kate Hampton, CEO of CIFF, says:  

“We're incredibly excited to support C40 and the Deadline 2020 report. As a data-driven policy network for mayors, C40 has established itself as an ambitious and innovative forum to pilot and scale up effective climate action that can be replicated in cities around the world. This is crucial to improve the health and quality of life of children today and tomorrow by ensuring cities have clean air and green jobs.”

In addition to funding, C40 gained four new member cities who were welcomed at the Summit: Dakar, Kuala Lumpur, Medellin, and Montreal. These cities represent four different continents and officially bring the number of C40 cities to 90.

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