Day 3 at COP26 is finance day, drawing attention to the need for a step-change in the way global finance is mobilised to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5ºC.

Investing in cities = millions of good-quality green jobs

Recent C40 research found that if action is delayed by just 5 years, both the emissions reduction and job creation potential by 2030 are reduced by a third.

Local economies are poised to thrive when offered direct access to investment sources.

Infographic which reads: Investing in city climate action now can create millions of jobs & rapidly reduce carbon emissions.
© C40

Our data shows that ​​over 250,000 jobs could be created in Houston via green energy, mass transit, nature and resiliency projects. And in Milan, over 50,000 jobs could be created from mitigation and adaptation actions over the next 10 years through investments in actions outlined in the city’s climate action plan.

The evidence is clear: Major investment in local climate action will support millions of green jobs.

$100 billion for climate action

A key issue COP26 attendees are discussing is the need for increased climate financing, especially for developing nations. Cities in particular are primed to create solutions to the climate crisis, but they need immediate and robust investment to act.

Today, global leaders highlighted the importance of coordinating climate financing at COP26, noting that the countries primarily responsible for climate change are also those most able to invest in climate solutions, while adding that more needs to be done to quickly increase climate finance.

Not only are cities well-positioned for international investment, but they’re also leading on climate financing commitments. C40’s Chair-elect recently announced allocating a substantial portion of the organisation’s budget to supporting Global South cities.

Read more about climate finance news at COP26:

Securing a strong recovery from COVID-19

Earlier today, COP26 hosted a panel featuring global leaders and experts discussing the future of cities following the COVID-19 pandemic.

People wearing masks or face coverings outside in a busy market
© Matteo Jorjoson / Unsplash

The panel struck an upbeat tone, with participants commenting on the greater energy and intensity of this year’s COP26 event compared with previous years, while drawing attention to the pivotal role cities play in addressing the climate crisis. In particular, the power of mayors to harness and mobilise local resources was described as an indispensable asset in the fight for a climate-safe future.

While COVID-19 has placed significant pressures on cities, the panel recognised how some cities have implemented policies that promote both public health and climate action. These cities are reinventing themselves for the better in the wake of the pandemic.

Divest from fossil fuels, invest in our future

Climate breakdown is a major threat to the global financial system. Divesting from fossil fuels and increasing sustainable investments, known as ‘Divest-Invest’ action, is an effective way for cities, pension funds and other institutional investors to protect their assets and take advantage of the economic opportunities presented by the transition towards a green economy.

Last week, six C40 cities added their names to a list of twelve cities that have already signed up to C40’s “Divesting from Fossil Fuels, Investing in a Sustainable Future” declaration. By signing on to the declaration, these eighteen cities pledge to take all possible steps to divest from fossil fuel companies, increase investments in climate solutions, advocate for fossil-free and sustainable finance by other investors, and call on pension funds to divest from fossil fuel companies.

COP26 has seen further calls for and major announcements around divest-invest action:

Cities and mayors in the news…

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