Press Release: Foreign Policy honours C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group at 5th Annual Diplomat of the Year Awards

C40 Chair-elect and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo received Foreign Policy’s Green Diplomat of the Year award and issued call for global finance for urban climate action

Washington, D.C. (November 17, 2016) – Today, the Foreign Policy (FP) Group’s CEO and editor David Rothkopf presented the FP’s annual “Green Diplomat of the Year” award to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) for the organisation’s efforts to promote climate action around the world.

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair-elect of C40, accepted the award at the Diplomat of the Year awards dinner on behalf of C40 for the organisation’s contributions to environmental diplomacy. C40 has worked to tackle climate change over moreo than a decade through a network of more than 85 major global cities, with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.

“Cities are rising to the climate challenge,” said Mayor Hidalgo. “They are engaging with each other, sharing, weaving a web above and beyond national and cultural differences. We know we have to take action, even if some heads of State cultivate skepticism.”

With the recent U.S. elections calling into question the financing of climate action around the world, Mayor Hidalgo issued a plea to the leaders of the global financial sector to support mayors – and especially U.S. mayors – in pushing for climate finance. 

“We need to bring in citizens and the business sector. We must reach the leaders of global finance,” Hidalgo said. “This will be a key theme on the agenda of the next C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City on December 1st and 2nd - in order to bring about the economic and social transformations needed to create a climate safe world.”

“I am aware of the weight of responsibility this award carries, and I would like to share it with my fellow mayors from around the world,” Hidalgo said. “Especially to my friends and mayors from the United States, because climate change is not just another bad reality show. I am convinced we can count on them, just as they can count on us. In their name I make a plea to the leaders of global finance.”

Rothkopf said of awarding FP’s 5th annual Diplomat of the Year awards, “These individuals and organisations represent the kind of optimism and progress that should be celebrated in today’s tumultuous society.”

Alongside C40, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Inc., accepted the “Diplomat of the Year” award on behalf of Google, recognising the organisation’s digital diplomacy through empowering citizens globally. Hafsat Abiola, founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), received this year’s “Citizen Diplomat of the Year” award.

Past recipients of FP’s annual Diplomat of the Year award include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2015), U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker (2015), Vital Voices Global Partnership (2015), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (2014), U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns (2013) and Ambassador Chan Heng Chee, Singapore’s former ambassador to the U.S. (2012).

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