A response to the publication of the IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris & Chair of C40 Cities

The IPCC report on Oceans and Ice published today makes for shocking reading. It is yet more evidence from the world’s top scientists that we are in the midst of a climate emergency.

The world’s coasts provide a home to around 1.9 billion people and over half of the world’s megacities – all of which are in grave danger if we don’t act immediately to prevent rising temperatures and sea levels. Extreme high temperatures, coastal flooding, and more frequent natural disasters are becoming the new normal. Several cities, home to hundreds of thousands of people, are already disappearing underwater. This is what the climate crisis looks like now.

As mayors, our greatest responsibility is to protect the lives and wellbeing of those that live in our cities. That is why city leaders around the world are taking decisive action to prepare our communities for the realities of a rapidly warming planet. 

The scientific evidence of the damage that fossil fuel-powered societies are wreaking on the natural world is now unequivocal and impossible to ignore. Fortunately, we also know what needs to be done to prevent complete climate breakdown. Emissions must peak by 2020,  and halve by 2030. At least 27 of the world’s largest cities are already on this trajectory, with more than 100 committed to similar levels of ambition. 

It is within our power to prevent complete climate breakdown. National governments, cities, businesses, investors, and local communities must all unite behind the science, and act quickly and decisively to protect prevent the worst-case scenarios outlined in today’s IPCC report. Cities, inspired and supported by young activists, are demonstrating that the future we want is possible.

More than 70 mayors from around the world will be meeting in Copenhagen for the C40 World Mayors Summit, Oct 09th – 12th 2019.

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