Mayors of Paris, Milan, Sydney, Austin, Philadelphia, Portland, Oslo, Barcelona & Montreal invite leaders of student climate protests to work with them to ramp up climate action

Paris, France (14 March 2019) — As tens of thousands of young people around the world prepare to take to the streets tomorrow as part of the #FridaysForFuture protests, mayors of nine cities have publicly supported their demands for urgent climate action. The mayors of Paris, Milan, Sydney, Austin, Philadelphia, Portland, Oslo, Barcelona & Montreal have each invited leaders of the student climate protests in their respective cities to come to meet them in the City Hall. Mayors want to hear ideas from young citizens about how to work together to deliver the urgent and bold climate action needed to prevent catastrophic climate change. They echoed the demands for even greater climate action from businesses and national governments. 

The mayors of Paris, Milan, Sydney, Austin, Philadelphia, Portland, Oslo, Barcelona & Montreal, share the sense of alarm felt by Greta Thunberg, and all the young people involved in the #FridaysForFuture protests. As the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in October 2018, the difference of just half a degree of global temperature rise – 1.5°C versus 2°C – could spell the difference between a bright future and disaster for hundreds of millions of people, including children.  As members of C40 Cities, Paris, Milan, Sydney, Austin, Philadelphia, Portland, Oslo, Barcelona & Montreal are committed to climate action that will deliver on the 1.5 degrees ambition of the Paris Agreement. These include bold measures that mayors are putting in place now to create sustainable transport networks, develop green buildings, reduce waste and rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

“It is truly inspiring to see young people, led by brilliant young women, making their voices heard and demanding urgent climate action. They are absolutely correct that our actions today will determine their futures,” said Mayor of Paris & Chair of C40 Cities, Anne Hidalgo. “Mayors of the world’s leading cities are listening. My message to young citizens preparing to take to the streets is clear: It is our responsibility as adults and political leaders, to learn from you and deliver the future you want and the future you can trust in."


“The mobilization of school children to demand climate action is a powerful reminder of the responsibility we all have towards reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala. “That is why the city of Milan has launched an ambitious Low Emission Zone and will invest 2 billion Euros to procure electrical buses and renew the whole city fleet, to reduce emissions and improve air quality. I look forward to welcoming a group of school children at City Hall to share their ideas to create a more sustainable city.”

On March 15th entry to the exhibition currently on at Milan’s Triennale – Broken Nature – will be free for all visitors under 26. Student demonstrators are invited to a dialogue with Mayor Sala and other concerned Milanese at Triennale, during one of their future Fridays for Climate.


“It is an injustice that young people who have contributed the least to climate change, will feel the brunt of its effects,” said Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore. “They stand to lose the most from government inaction. That’s why I’m proud to stand in solidarity with the thousands of courageous students in Sydney, and around the world, in their fight for justice.”


“Oslo has ambitious goals, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. We aim to reduce climate gas emissions by 95% by 2030,” said Governing Mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen. “The #FridaysForFuture protests are a clear signal from the younger generations to politicians to take action now, to combat climate change. This is a challenge that has to be solved by us, now. Not by someone else, somewhere else, at another time. Our children marching for this message should be a wakeup call for everyone. I encourage all schools to use this an opportunity to raise the issue of climate change in their education.”


"I offer my appreciation to and my support for the Youth Climate Strike demonstrating here in Philadelphia and around the world,” said Mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney. “It is heartening to see our young people taking a stand and reminding us that it is their generation who will be left to face the worst effects of climate change if we don't act quickly to cut carbon emissions. These actions give me further hope that, combined with real action that we are proud to be leading, we will rise to the challenge and leave a healthy Philadelphia for generations to come."


“I’m proud of the young people who have come together to speak out on the issue of climate change,” said Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler. “It’s a solemn reminder of why the movement to curb the impacts of global warming is so important—so these kids have the same right to a healthy and thriving earth. That right only comes with an environment that is not decimated by climate change. That’s what we’re fighting for.”


“Young people are helping amplify the message that urgent and bold climate action is needed to prevent catastrophic climate change and to preserve their future,” said Mayor of Austin, Steve Adler. “Students from Austin and around the world are sparking a movement to demand that their leaders take notice and commit to fight climate change. Mayors have taken notice and I vow to work with these young people to ensure we preserve this world for future generations.”

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