A pioneering group of 8 global cities today announced that they are collaborating on plans to turn the Paris Agreement on climate change from aspiration into action. In a groundbreaking new initiative that provides in-depth technical assistance and fosters knowledge transfer between cities, C40 will help global cities ensure their climate action plans will deliver the scale of emissions reductions required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Boston, Durban, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Mexico City, New York City and Paris will be the first cities to ‘pilot’ the programme.
Hundreds of mayors around the world have indicated their support for the Paris Agreement and pledged to uphold it; participating in this initiative marks the most significant step to date that cities have taken toward realizing that ambition. C40 will eventually roll the programme out to all 91 member cities around the world, tailoring support to the unique circumstances and context of each city.
According to research by C40, concrete action in the years to 2020 is necessary to achieve the ambition of the Paris Agreement and prevent catastrophic climate change. Deadline 2020: How Cities Will Get the Job Done reveals that the world’s megacities must act to peak emissions by 2020 and then nearly halve every citizen’s carbon emissions within a decade.
“The Paris Agreement is very clear on what needs to happen to tackle climate change,” said Mayor of Paris and C40 Chair, Anne Hidalgo. “It is the responsibility of every political leader to determine what that means concretely for their nation, state or city. Once again, it is the mayors of the world’s great cities that are acting first to deliver on that responsibility to our citizens and future generations.”
Speaking at the first edition of ‘C40 Talks’, an event held at The New York Times during Climate Week, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio, said: “We do not have the luxury of time when it comes to climate action. No matter what President Trump thinks, we must act now. Mayors from around the world have gathered together to adopt the goals of the Paris climate agreement, because we see first-hand how essential it is that we cut emissions, and build more fair and resilient cities.”
“Every city in the world is unique, but to prevent catastrophic climate change they all need to rapidly become more sustainable,” said C40 Executive Director, Mark Watts. “A one-size-fits-all approach cannot work, which is why C40 is committed to helping its members create tailored climate action plans that will allow each to become healthier and more prosperous places to live. I urge mayors of every major city around the world to seize this moment and create climate action plans that deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement.”
C40’s work to ensure these pioneering cities can develop climate action plans consistent with the Paris Agreement, is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
“The City of Melbourne is fully committed to meet its pledge to limit global temperatures by delivering the Paris Agreement,” said Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Robert Doyle. “We recently introduced science-based targets aligned to the Paris Agreement for our own operations and now we are working with C40 to deliver a world-leading Climate Action Plan for our municipality. We have been a certified carbon neutral organisation since 2012 and we are working with our supply chain to reduce emissions as well. We will continue to take bold action on climate change adaptation, and reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions by prioritising energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
“City governments are the corner stone for the climate change response agenda. They are the first and most important point of contact with the local community,” said Mayor of Durban, Zandile Gumede. “We are the ones responsible in ensuring the well-being of our people. The impact of climate change is no longer an issue to be discussed behind closed doors, it is a problem being experienced today by our people, and creating a climate action plan to deliver a sustainable future is non-negotiable. It is local governments that are responsible for setting up resilient and inclusive socio-economic visions through urban development polices. Cities are responsible for properly planned and managed urbanization to minimize vulnerability and to enhance sustainable service delivery to it citizens. Durban will deliver for our citizens."
“C40 Deadline 2020 research has shown that megacities need to take immediate and bold action to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change that would affect children disproportionately. Fortunately, cities are ready to act: they are moving fast to decarbonise their buildings, transport and waste systems. CIFF is proud to support C40 cities to develop climate action plans consistent with the Paris Agreement, demonstrating that the low-carbon transition is not only feasible but desirable, and that low carbon cities are children-friendly cities. Cities’ ambition and exemplarity will help to ratchet up the global ambition on climate change,” said Sonia Medina, Executive Director for Climate at CIFF and C40 Board member.