Read the foreword for the C40 Cities Annual Report 2023, written by the C40 Co-Chairs, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Mayor of Freetown Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

In 2023 global heating exceeded 1.5°C across an entire year for the first time in human history. The world’s cities and their residents – from Seoul to Sao Paulo and New York City to Nairobi – were hit by the worsening effects of extreme climate impacts and polluted air, while global investments in fossil fuels continued to rise. Last year also saw science-based policymaking come under increasing attack from disinformation campaigns and well-funded lobbying groups.

Throughout this, C40 member cities have continued to step up to lead, delivering science-based climate action and using their voices to influence multilateral platforms and partners.

Early in 2023 we announced that we had consolidated our work around two main missions – set by the mayors on our Steering Committee – to help get the world off fossil fuels and address the impacts and injustices of climate breakdown. June saw the launch of Breathe Cities, which provides resources for global cities to improve air quality and tackle climate change at the same time, building on London’s success in pioneering this initiative. C40 also announced the launch of the City Youth Engagement Network – bringing together city officials – and the Youth Hub, providing opportunities for youth activists to engage with others across the world.

C40’s mayors are leading by demonstrating what a just transition away from fossil fuels looks like in practice, and we were delighted that at COP 28 over 70 countries committed to working with local leaders on the Nationally Determined Contributions that are due in 2025. This will help catalyse faster, stronger, fairer national climate action.

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