C40 Co-Chair and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is leading a mayoral delegation of eight C40 mayors to the Vatican today for a critical audience with Pope Francis to discuss best practices of climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience at the ‘Climate Crisis to Climate Resilience’ summit. 

Mayor Khan will join a delegation of leaders who have shown a commitment to tackling the climate crisis, including Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu; Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo; Mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri; Mayor of Athens, Haris Doukas; Governor of Santiago, Claudio Orrego; Mayor of Yokohama, Takeharu Yamanaka and Mayor of São Paulo, Ricardo Nunes.

The delegation will underscore the work cities are doing to drive climate action. Mayor Khan will showcase that a positive environment vision has real benefits for city economies and tackling inequalities and is rewarded at the ballot box. C40 mayors will emphasise the need for greater collaboration between cities and national governments, focusing more on the role they can plan in meeting national targets.

Other leaders and people of note present at the summit include Governor of California, Gavin Newsom; Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul; Hoesung Lee (IPCC), Former chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Gina McCarthy; Former White House Climate Advisor.

During the visit, Mayor Khan and C40 mayors will have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis – a rare occasion, which presents an opportunity for Mayor Khan to share strategies and challenges that London faces in the realm of climate action, and which respond to Pope Francis’ urgent call to action in his Laudate Deum. 

As part of the ‘Mayors and Governors Summit’ programming, Mayor Khan and fellow C40 mayors will take the stage to address the assembly in a global roundtable event. Mayor Khan will focus on ‘Governance in the Age of Climate Change’, outlining pivotal climate governance issues that impact him as Mayor of London, and shining a spotlight on C40 Cities and London’s innovative strides in climate governance.

Mayor Khan is also due to sign a Protocol for Climate Resilience alongside climate leaders, aligning London with global efforts to safeguard people and the planet that recognises the urgent need for action on climate change adaptation and net-zero emissions. The protocol will be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to take it forward to all nations. 

Messages from C40 mayors in attendance

C40 Co-Chair and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I’m honoured to have been invited by the Pope to participate in this vital summit at the Vatican. Throughout history, one generation has always inspired the next with a great task. For ours, it’s solving the climate and environmental crises. Our species is waging war on the natural world, which could ultimately lead to our ruin. This is a moment which demands the courage to take tough decisions and meet responsibilities to protect our planet and future generations. 

“My election earlier this month was a choice of whether Londoners wanted to see their city strive forward or be dragged backward.  Now, more than ever, I’m determined to continue putting London at the vanguard of the climate movement. As Mayor I am proud to have turned London into a beacon of climate and environmental progress – our air is now dramatically cleaner, half a million new trees have been planted, we have begun a rewilding revolution, invested millions in green jobs and have led the way in turning our capital into a global centre for green finance.”

“Cities are where over half the world’s population lives and where over 75% of global energy is consumed. Through the C40 network of cities – our global coalition of the willing – we’re demonstrating the true gap in both ambition and achievement between cities and nations. We are at a critical juncture. Our future is not yet written and if nations follow where cities have led, we can turn this moment of maximum risk into a moment of maximum opportunity. A better future is now visible – our cities and regions are tracing the outline.”

Mayor of Boston, Michelle Wu said: “I’m thrilled to join UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Governor Maura Healey, Mayors and leaders from around the globe at the Vatican for this important climate summit led by Pope Francis. As a coastal city known for our climate leadership, Boston serves as proof of what’s possible through focused planning and determined coordination. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share Boston’s progress on climate action and learn from other mayors and leaders taking needed action for our brightest future.”

Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala said: “In the complex architecture of global climate action, the Vatican summit emerges as a poignant catalyst for solidarity and shared commitment. Milan, alongside our fellow members in the C40 network, emphasises the pivotal role cities play in crafting sustainable pathways and testing innovative models. Through pioneering urban regeneration, public space for people and sustainable mobility, Milan remains steadfast in leading inclusive climate action. Together, we are embarking on a journey towards a redefined era of advancement, resonating with Pope Francis’ clarion call for transformative change.”

C40 Executive Director, Mark Watts said: “Mayor Khan’s presence – leading a delegation of C40 mayors for a critical audience with Pope Francis – highlights the leading role played by cities in the global climate response. With London as a beacon of progress and C40 cities leading on science-based climate action, Mayor Khan is once again reiterating his dedication to creating green, resilient and equitable cities.”

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