• Backed with new UK government funding, C40’s Climate Action Implementation (CAI) programme is expanding support for five cities in Latin America to implement ambitious climate action plans.
  • C40 will provide tailored technical assistance and capacity building to the cities of Bogotá, Guadalajara, Lima, Medellín and Mexico City.
  • Formal events occurred in each of these cities with mayors or their high-level representatives, UK ambassadors and project partners.

C40 is expanding its support for five Latin American cities to develop ambitious climate action implementation plans. From January 2022 to December 2025, C40’s Climate Action Implementation (CAI) programme will help these cities on their way to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 and secure a greener future for more than 35 million residents in the region.

C40 will provide tailored technical assistance and capacity building to the cities of Bogotá, Guadalajara, Lima, Medellín and Mexico City, in support of city-led efforts to improve energy efficiency and transportation and to incorporate climate considerations into planning and governance. 

Formal events to launch the new collaboration have occurred in each of the cities, with the most recent one taking place 19 April in Lima. The events were officiated by the respective mayors or their municipal secretaries, including mayors Rafael López Aliaga of Lima, Daniel Quintero of Medellín, Claudia López of Bogotá and Pablo Lemus of Guadalajara, as well as Mexico City’s Secretary of Mobility Andrés Lajous. Stakeholders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors were invited to explore possible collaboration on sustainable energy, urban transport and mobility. The UK government, which is funding C40’s CAI programme, was represented at the events as well, including through UK Climate Envoy Nick Bridge, who attended the event in Mexico City in October.

Nick Bridge, the UK Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, said: “Climate change is a global emergency that negatively affects health, livelihoods, food security, water supply and economic growth. And cities are at the forefront of all of these – and many other challenges. As cities grow, so does the risk of locking in high carbon infrastructure and inequalities: bringing challenges in meeting accelerated demand for affordable housing, well-connected transport systems and equitable public space. The good news is that cities also offer some of the most readily available, feasible and cost-effective options for limiting global warming and tackling inequalities. This is why investing in cities is a critical piece of the climate puzzle and we are looking to do just that with our Climate Action Implementation Programme.”

Bogotá Mayor and C40 Vice Chair Claudia López said: “Bogotá is undertaking bold climate action, implementing its climate action plan and prioritising equity and inclusion. A few months ago, Bogotá launched ‘La Rolita’ – the City Public Transit Operator – in which C40 is supporting the training of women to drive 195 brand new e-buses that will enhance zero-emissions transit coverage in city areas where it is most needed. Additionally, as part of an ambitious mobility plan, Bogotá is prioritising sustainable and active mobility, setting ambitious policy goals for pedestrians and cyclists, implementing green corridors, vital neighbourhoods, bicycle networks and revitalised public space. Bogotá is delighted to work alongside C40 and the CAI programme to implement science-driven solutions while fostering the capacity to improve air quality, carbon emissions inventories, climate justice and energy governance.”

Air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels may have caused more than 8.7 million deaths worldwide in 2018, that is, one in five deaths that year, according to research by Harvard University in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, University of Leicester and University College London. Latin American countries were among those with the highest proportions worldwide of deaths attributed to air pollution from burning fossil fuels, including Mexico (1st at 10.7%), Peru (6th at 8.5%) and Colombia (8th at 8.1%). With continued economic development, urbanisation and population growth across the region, CO2 emissions in transport will continue to grow without ambitious policy interventions.

According to a recent C40’s Air Quality Technical Assistance Report on Lima’s assessment of the low-emission zone “Área de Emisiones Reducidas” (AER) project, to be implemented in its historic city centre, the annual average concentration of fine particulate matter was over seven times the World Health Organisation’s guideline in 2020, making air pollution a persistent problem for Lima. Air pollutants particularly affect children and the elderly. The air quality improvement, as a result of the implementation of the AER, would reduce the health burden of cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes and lung cancer deaths to Lima residents.

Ilan Cuperstein, C40’s Regional Director for Latin America, said: “Bogotá, Medellín, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Lima have all launched ambitious and science-based climate action plans in recent years. Now, with the support of C40’s CAI programme and the generous funding from the UK government, this programme will foster the implementation phase of actions related to energy, transport and climate mainstreaming in city governance structures. Working on topics such as zero-emission areas, solar energy generation and the deployment of zero-emission buses will not only help decrease greenhouse gas emissions, but also substantially improve air quality, deliver quality green jobs and increase the wellbeing of residents across the region.”

C40 will support two locally-led projects in each of the five cities. They include:

Bogotá, Colombia:

  • Structure and implement medium- and long-term pedestrian mobility strategies.
  • Complete training of up to 200 female drivers for 195 new electric buses (e-buses).

Guadalajara, Mexico:

  • Create low-emission polygons with last-mile vehicle decarbonisation pilots.
  • Formulate and adopt an energy efficiency standard for public buildings.

Lima, Peru:

  • Prioritise and build part of the 640 km (approximately 100 km) of cycle lanes projected to be built in Metropolitan Lima by 2030.
  • Define co-benefits of the pedestrian historical centre in Lima in vulnerable groups, for further design and implementation in extension areas.

Medellín, Colombia:

  • Expand the city’s low-emission zone (ZUAP) to improve the health of urban dwellers and redesign up to two streets into pedestrian streets.
  • Develop a pilot project that expands access to sustainable, clean energy in vulnerable neighbourhoods by implementing energy efficiency measures and installing solar panels on the roofs and terraces of public buildings and residential homes.

Mexico City, Mexico:

  • Complete offer and demand studies to renovate the fleet of public buses in six administrative territories of the city.
  • Create and adopt a technical norm for electric public transportation in the city.

CAI programme launch events took place on 4 October, 2022, in Mexico City, 6 October in Guadalajara, 1 November in Bogotá, 10 March, 2023, in Medellín and 19 April in Lima.

The Climate Action Implementation (CAI) Programme is part of the overarching Urban Climate Action Programme (UCAP) funded by the UK government and delivered in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. The CAI Programme is working in collaboration with 15 cities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia to deliver at least two high-impact actions from their climate action plans (CAPs) and embed climate action plans into city governance, planning and decision-making structures, supporting continued monitoring and progressing of climate actions through tailored technical assistance and capacity building. From January 2022 to December 2025, the CAI Programme will support these cities in their paths to half carbon emissions by 2030, become carbon neutral by 2050 and secure a green, fair and equitable future for nearly 104 million residents.

Part of the UCAP funding supports the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF). The CFF facilitates access to finance for C40 cities’ climate change mitigation and resilience projects in urban areas. The CFF is jointly implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

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