C40 was at the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2019) in New York City to launch the third edition of the “Towards the localization of SDGs” report, an annual review of progress made towards the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). C40 contributed to the report by providing insights on how cities can tackle climate change and reduce inequalities at the same time and by formulating 10 specific recommendations drawing examples from Cape Town, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles.
Africa is the world’s second most populous and fastest-growing continent, home to an estimated 1.2 billion people. Over half of global population growth is expected to take place on the continent between now and 2050. With increasing concentrations of people and infrastructure, African cities are particularly vulnerable to problems caused by the impacts of climate change, such as extreme heat or flooding.
Cities around the world are critical to addressing the climate crisis and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C: the only viable “science-based” target we have. The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC released last October made it clear that even 2°C of warming would massively increase food insecurity, water shortages, poverty and take a devastating toll on human health. Equipped with a strong network of leading cities around the world, C40 mayors are committed to creating a more sustainable future for all and are ready for the task ahead.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently launched the city’s Green New Deal, providing a template for a new era of climate leadership. Like many other C40 climate action plans from the world’s leading cities, it is built on hard data and sets goals to reduce emissions in line with the science-based target of constraining global average temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial average. L.A.’s plan is also deeply rooted in climate justice, with a strong focus on how action to reduce pollution can also reduce inequality, create new and better jobs, develop a stronger, more sustainable economy, and improve the health and well-being of Angelenos. In short, it is a strategy to benefit the whole of society and thus moves climate change from a peripheral issue to the central organising principle of government.