C40 Chair Michael Bloomberg: Cities are “Innovation Hotbeds”

In an opinion piece published this week by the Financial Times, New York City Mayor and C40 Chair Michael R. Bloomberg describes the burst of innovation that is taking place in city halls around the world, explaining that cities are creating solutions for some of the most pressing global issues even as national governments have stalled or failed.

Climate change is a major example Mayor Bloomberg used to illustrate how actions taken at the local, city level can surpass those taken by nations and international groups. Collectively, Mayors from 59 of the C40 Cities have implemented policies and programs to reduce emissions at the local level by almost 250 megatonnes a year by 2020. And there’s room to achieve more. Mayor Bloomberg writes: 

Groundbreaking initiatives have had concrete results, from Bogota’s rapid transit bus network to Tokyo’s municipal cap-and-trade system (which has been shortlisted for the FT/Citi Ingenuity awards). New research estimates the C40 has the potential to further reduce emissions by more than 1bn tonnes a year by 2030 – an achievement equivalent to making both Canada and Mexico entirely carbon-neutral.

Mayor Bloomberg acknowledges that though there are challenges to governing at every level, cities are innovation hotbeds because Mayors “don’t have the luxury of simply talking about progress – we have to deliver.”