“The examples set by C40 cities show that we’re not powerless to act and that we can rise to meet the challenge of the climate crisis.” – Foreword by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and Chair of C40 Cities and Mark Watts, C40 Executive Director
Against a backdrop of extreme climate events affecting every region of the planet, and geopolitical turbulence which has impacted global energy markets, 2022 did not see the level of climate action that these crises urgently demand. At the intergovernmental level, COP27 ended without meaningful progress on the necessary rapid phase out of fossil fuels. In sharp contrast, mayors continued to lead the way as the doers, not the delayers, with ambitious and science-based action to avert catastrophic climate breakdown.
From São Paulo to Seoul, Accra to Ahmedabad, Beijing to Bogotá, and Milan to Montréal, C40 cities are stepping up and showing that ambitious climate action is possible.
Three quarters of C40 cities are now decreasing their per capita emissions at a faster rate than their own countries, while high-impact actions delivered by C40 cities – such as introducing low-emission zones, increasing green spaces and planting more trees to improve air quality and to reduce urban heat risk, and achieving universal waste collection – have tripled in the past decade, which is vital if global heating is to be kept under 1.5˚C.
C40 cities are delivering climate action that not only cuts emissions and reduces climate risks, but also improves the quality of life enjoyed by all our residents. Tokyo is collaborating with Kuala Lumpur in a trailblazing Global North-Global South partnership to develop low-carbon building standards. Lagos is decarbonising its energy supply by installing solar panels on schools and health centres. London is expanding its world-leading Ultra Low Emission Zone to cover all of Greater London, ensuring that almost five million more people will be breathing cleaner air. And 12 C40 cities – from Rio to Tshwane to Mumbai – are participating in the Oslo-led C40 climate budgeting programme, a governance system that offers a way for cities to turn climate commitments into funded and measurable actions.
The examples set by C40 cities show that we’re not powerless to act and that we can rise to meet the challenge of the climate crisis, if the political will and vision exists. Thanks to our track record of driving innovative and ambitious climate action, there has already been a 5% improvement in air quality across C40 cities – so 150 million residents, globally, are now benefitting from cleaner air.
October 2022 also saw C40 host the World Mayors Summit in Buenos Aires – our largest-ever convening of mayors to date – with 75 C40 mayors and 143 non-C40 cities taking part. During the Summit, mayors committed to driving the creation of 50 million good, green jobs by 2030 and announced record investment in C40 cities in the Global South, which are now projected to be able to access more than US $1 billion to help them adapt to and tackle the climate emergency.
As we head into 2023, we know we must continue to galvanise action and go further and faster. We remain focused on playing our part in halving emissions by 2030 and delivering a greener, safer and more inclusive future for all.