Mayors from 12 of the world’s biggest cities joined Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on a train to the UN COP26 climate summit today to show that C40’s 97 cities are united around science-based targets in leading the global fight against climate change on behalf of the 700+ million people who live and work in their cities. 

The international delegation of mayors from C40 Cities – from London to LA, Athens to Phoenix, Paris to North Dhaka, Oslo to Freetown, and Stockholm to Seattle – are working together to share best practice and resources in tackling climate change on the streets of their cities. Many cities are already suffering the impacts of climate change, from unbearable summer heat, wildfires and deadly flooding, to migration and air pollution. The mayors made the 4.5 hour 645km (401 miles) overland journey from London’s Euston Station to Glasgow’s Central Station on Avanti West Coast’s electric Pendolino “Climate Train”. Per capita passenger emissions for the train journey are estimated to be seven times lower than flying the equivalent distance. 

On arrival in Glasgow, the delegation will deliver critical new momentum to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C, in line with the Paris Agreement. Mayors will spend three days in meetings making clear the role of cities in addressing the climate crisis and forming partnerships to ensure climate action plans are delivered and become the standard in every world city.  

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and C40 Chair Elect says:“I have put tackling the twin threats of the climate crisis and toxic air pollution at the heart of my mayoralty and I’m delighted to be working with so many international mayors committed to the same goals. Cities have a vital role to play in cutting carbon emissions, reducing inequalities through a just transition and ensuring we keep global warming to within the 1.5 degree limit. C40 mayors represent over 700 million people across the world – and on their behalf we will be playing our full part at COP26 in Glasgow and beyond to address the climate emergency our world faces.” 

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles and C40 Chair says: “Cities have always been the engines driving the fight against climate change, because our residents can’t afford the costs of inaction and the consequences of delay. Mayors know that this ‘Code Red’ moment for humanity requires action at every level of government, and we’re here to spread our message: we need to tackle this crisis with the same ferocity with which it’s threatening the next generation, and while the progress we have made so far is real and meaningful, it is still not enough.”  

Mark Watts, Executive Director C40, says: “As global scientists warn us the climate train is already leaving the station, it is heartening to see that so many global mayors are already on board and on track to deliver immediate, large-scale climate action. From LA to London and Dhaka to Bogotá, city governments are responding with urgency to the science, listening to the demands of their citizens and showing that the global collaboration to tackle the climate emergency is possible. This is the message we will be delivering in person to world leaders at COP26 in Glasgow.” 

Travelling on the train, Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona says: “As C40 mayors we are all united behind the climate science and already have city action plans. We will be using our time together on the train and in Glasgow to deliver practical ways to halve global emissions by 2030. Cities have many common climate problems and we will use these precious hours of travel together to strengthen our collaboration because the world has no time to waste.” 

700 million people live and work in C40’s network of 97 mega-cities, and they represent over a quarter of the global economy. All C40 members have pledged to deliver science-based Climate Action Plans to cut emissions from their urban transport systems and buildings, cut air pollution and deliver a fair and green recovery from the global Covid pandemic.  

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