Today, C40 Cities, the global network of cities committed to bold climate action, opens a new office in Oslo, to drive forward progress in key areas such as clean construction and innovative mechanisms of climate governance. The office opening will mark a further strengthening of collaboration between C40 and innovative, climate ambitious governments and cities across Scandinavia and Europe.
Head of the office is Gaute Hagerup, former CEO of Oslo Business Region, the City of Oslo’s agency for business development and innovation ecosystems. The office will be housed in the Climate Agency, City of Oslo.
Oslo is the chair of C40’s Clean Construction Forum, the leading programme driving forward positive carbon cutting measures from construction activities in cities which will also deliver healthier buildings and better air quality to millions of residents in cities around the world.
Construction is responsible for more than 23% of the world’s GHG emissions and 30% of global resource consumption. Urgent action is vital – if the construction industry continues to take a business as usual approach, the world is on track for a global temperature increase of 3 degrees celsius or more.
Mark Watts, C40 Executive Director, said: “I am very excited to be opening our new office in Oslo and to further strengthen our bonds with climate leaders in Norway and neighbouring countries. The climate crisis is having devastating consequences worldwide, exacerbating existing inequalities and impacting already vulnerable communities the hardest. This is exactly why we must drive forward a green and just recovery from COVID-19 – to create healthy, resilient, and prosperous communities.
“Reinforcing climate governance will be crucial in order to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement, by keeping global heating below 1.5°C. The City of Oslo is leading the way with the innovative approach of embedding CO2 reduction targets within its city budget. I particularly want to thank Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen, who has made it possible for C40 to open an office in Oslo, and whose extraordinary leadership is the primary reason I am so excited that we are doing this.”
Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo, said: “Oslo will become a zero-emission city and in practice show that it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is socially just. C40 choosing to open its own office in Oslo demonstrates that our climate action has come a long way.
“Construction accounts for up to a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Now the government must set the same requirements for the construction industry at the national level as we have done in Oslo, so that together we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from construction sites. Fossil-free construction sites are less noisy and provide cleaner air. Quiet machines make it easier to talk to each other on the construction site, ensuring better security – ultimately working on a fossil-free construction site is better and safer. We challenge the Minister of the Environment to take action.”
Lan Marie Berg, City Councillor for the Environment and Transport (MDG), said: “In 2019, Oslo was Europe’s environmental capital. We were able to show off all the positive and effective work Oslo does, and now we get the opportunity to spread this to the rest of the world. It is the cities that are leading the way in climate action, and it is crucial for the planet that we can scale up the good solutions. We look forward to strengthened international cooperation on ambitious climate efforts.”