A letter to the European Council from Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala

Dear Chancellor Merkel and President Michel, 

Mayors in Europe and around the world have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic as it ripped through our cities and communities causing immense suffering and hardship. Yet, even as we face the unique challenge of this moment we look to the future and our ambition is to swiftly deliver a strong, green and just recovery. 

That is why we have come together as the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Taskforce and launched the Mayors’ Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery.

Our goal is to build a better, more sustainable, more resilient and fairer society out of the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. We Mayors are taking action and transforming cities for the better, but we need others to help deliver this agenda for the benefit of everyone. I am happy to share with you our agenda, including our call to action to national governments, regional governments, central banks and international financial institutions, in attachment to this letter. 

The 17-18 July 2020 European Council is a momentous opportunity for the EU to show global leadership and unveil an ambitious blueprint for green growth, equity and climate action. To achieve this, the European Union must deliver a more ambitious and truly green EU budget where 100% of recovery funds support the low carbon transition, and an increased 2030 GHG emission reduction target – as required by the Paris Agreement. We call on European leaders to prioritise investment in resilient cities and in sustainable, climate-resilient industries and infrastructure such as mass transit and clean energy, to ensure all stimulus investment and recovery funds create more just and inclusive societies and communities, whilst also ending all public investments in fossil fuels. 

By taking a sustainable path at this critical juncture, by respecting science, fostering unity and embracing a spirit of innovation and purpose, we will secure the best recovery we can and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We are ready to work with you and look forward to collaborating for a greener, healthier, safer and more equitable Europe. 

Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan, Italy On behalf of C40 Cities and C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force 

This letter was published in La Repubblica.

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