• Mayors signing onto the C40 Renewable Energy Declaration will take immediate actions to accelerate the clean energy transition and address energy inequalities impacting millions across the globe.
  • Cities committing to the pledge are Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Lagos, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Montréal, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Tshwane, Vancouver. 

15 mayors from the world’s most influential cities will soon power their communities with renewable energy, as leading global mayors will expand uptake and access to clean, affordable electricity for millions of urban residents.

The C40 Renewable Energy Declaration, launched at Climate Week by Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, will enable a just and equitable energy transition to combat the climate crisis. Mayors’ actions will create healthier communities, improve air quality, create decent jobs and protect their most vulnerable residents from the impacts of climate change.

The declaration outlines three potential pathways for city action and includes 2030 and 2035 goals, which cities can pursue in line with their unique needs and circumstances:

PATHWAY #1: Use 100% renewable electricity citywide by 2035; Ensure residents have access to fully decarbonised energy to cook, and heat and cool buildings no later than 2050.

PATHWAY #2: Achieve universal access to reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity and clean cooking fuels and technologies by 2030; Use 100% renewable electricity citywide by 2050.

PATHWAY #3: Deploy clean energy systems for electricity, heating, cooling and cooking to achieve 50% of the assessed feasible potential within the city by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

Learn about the commitments made by mayors today

Cities signing C40’s Renewable Energy Declaration have established their leadership in the transition to renewable energy, and call on other stakeholders including governments, regulators and utilities to work collaboratively with cities to accelerate renewable energy deployment. 

Fossil fuels remain the largest sources of carbon pollution driving the climate emergency. More than half of global emissions stem from use of electricity and heat in buildings concentrated in cities, which are themselves responsible for more than 2/3 of global energy consumption. Cities will not be able to achieve their climate goals without decarbonising their energy use. 

Cities across the globe vary widely in the degree of control they have over their electricity supply, but all leading cities demonstrate that modern, distributed renewable technologies provide for multiple approaches to accelerate the energy transition based on the powers they have. Cities can use the power of municipally-owned energy providers to accelerate renewable projects (Los Angeles, Copenhagen). They can shift the energy used for municipal operations to a renewable energy supplier (Lisbon, Sydney) or install solar systems on their buildings (Lagos, Tshwane, Tokyo). They can mandate the deployment of renewable systems through building codes (San Francisco) or support residents and businesses to do so, (Melbourne) including with financial incentives (Seoul). They can implement clean district energy systems (Vancouver) or support community energy projects (Buenos Aires, Paris).

It has never been more urgent to accelerate the transition to reliable, accessible, and affordable clean energy, a central tenet of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 760 million people around the world lack access to electricity, mainly the most vulnerable communities. Cities have an opportunity to drive significant social and economic benefits by deploying clean, renewable energy technologies, including rooftop solar and district heating systems, which are estimated to create 5.5 million jobs globally by 2030 and reduce disease-causing air pollution. Cities are taking a large range of actions to achieve this from switching their municipal energy to renewables to requiring renewable energy on all new buildings. 

The actions included in C40’s Renewable Energy Declaration are part of mayors’ ongoing efforts to deliver a green and just recovery from COVID-19.   

“Cities like Los Angeles stand on the front lines of the climate emergency, and we know what solutions are needed to address it,” said Mayor of Los Angeles and C40 Chair, Eric Garcetti. “Nearly half of Los Angeles’ power supply is fueled by renewable energy, and we’ve committed to achieving a 100% clean energy grid by 2035 — 10 years ahead of schedule. Through this declaration, C40 cities are showing the world that relying on renewable energy is not only possible, but more affordable, equitable, and sustainable.” 

​​“Cities drive the global economy, which means they produce much of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But cities are also leading the fight against climate change and for cleaner air – and in the process, they are creating good jobs and healthier communities,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and C40 Board President. “The more mayors around the world who commit to powering their cities with 100% clean energy, and the more concrete actions they take to achieve it, the faster we can create a stronger, healthier, and more sustainable global economy.”

Chief of Government of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta: “ In Buenos Aires, we know that the transition to renewable energy sources and their efficient use is one of the main ways to achieve our ambitious emissions reductions. This is why we work to promote energy efficiency: in 2019 we became the first city in Latin America to have 100% LED public lighting, and we are transforming our public buildings to make them more efficient. We are also convinced that this path must include everyone and this is why these actions are included in urbanisation programmes for vulnerable areas, in addition to our programme providing more than 1 million LED lamps for free. In the coming years, and with a view to become a carbon neutral city, we will implement new actions so that 30% of residential buildings have solar PV systems installed on their roofs and that 80% of buildings are renovated to increase energy performance by 2050.”

Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Lars Weiss: “Copenhagen strongly commits to the clean energy transition. The City aims to become carbon neutral by 2025 and has invested in a wide range of sustainable initiatives to get there. We are changing our energy supply from coal based power plant to sustainable alternatives and have invested in wind power onshore and offshore. Expanding renewable heat and electricity is vital to achieve our climate goals and to speed up our efforts to improve air quality and ensure a healthy, green, and liveable city“.

Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina: “Powering Green and Just Cities“ is all about delivering a green transition while ensuring it’s fairness and inclusiveness. In Lisbon we envision this will bring strong social and economic benefits to our communities and future generations. That’s why we’re focused on renewable energy side-by-side with energy poverty eradication; and that’s why we fully support the “Renewable Energy Declaration”.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: “With COP26 just a few weeks away, now is the time to accelerate action. C40’s renewable energy declaration is another example of how cities are rising to the challenge. I have committed to make London net zero carbon by 2030 and renewable energy has an important role to play in this. 

The London Underground is one of the UK’s largest electricity consumers and we’re working to switch it to 100 per cent renewable energy sources. We’re developing heat networks that capture waste heat sources, including from the Underground, to supply low carbon and affordable heat to local homes and businesses. And we’re working with businesses, community groups, schools and homeowners to boost London’s solar energy capacity. These programmes are maximising the opportunities that renewable energy offers, not only for decarbonising our energy system but in creating jobs and supporting a green and just recovery from the pandemic.”

Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp: “We’re proud to be part of this international movement of cities, accelerating the uptake of renewable energy to address climate change. Melbourne has been a leader in sustainability for decades as the first Australian capital city council powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, and through our ambitious plan to reach net zero emissions citywide by 2040. Climate change is one of the many challenges that today’s cities face, and it’s vital we work together to address this critical problem. It’s fantastic to see so many mayors around the world committing to take action. Through initiatives like C40 we can future-proof our cities and influence global climate action.”

Mayor of San Francisco, London N. Breed: “San Francisco is proud to join with other C40 cities in transitioning to 100% renewable energy as quickly as possible. Shifting to clean, greenhouse gas-free energy is a key part of addressing the climate crisis and creating a future that is healthier and more sustainable for us all. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain focused on our efforts provide 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, all while ensuring our most vulnerable residents are supported and that everyone benefits from the move to a clean, all-electric future.”

Mayor of Seoul Oh Se-hoon: “Renewable energy supply is at the heart of Seoul’s 2050 Climate Action Plan. We are identifying technologies suitable for cities such as geothermal, hydro-thermal, small hydro power and bioenergy to raise renewable energy supply and we will shift to a high-efficient Smart Energy City by using intelligent energy control systems.”

Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike: “To realise a decarbonized society, it is essential that we make renewables our main energy source. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is a massive energy consumer and will work to maximize energy efficiency and shift our remaining demand to decarbonized sources. As a vice-chair of C40, I will work hand in hand with cities all over the world and other key stakeholders to advance our initiatives.”

Mayor of Tshwane, Randall Williams: “With 62% of Tshwane’s carbon emissions coming from energy usage, the City of Tshwane is committed to decarbonise by deploying clean energy initiatives in City operations while creating an enabling environment through policy development that will allow small-scale embedded generation, and faster approval of renewable energy projects and green developments.”

Mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart: “Vancouver’s Climate Emergency Action Plan is a roadmap to accelerate local climate action and reduce our carbon pollution by 50% by 2030. This urgent timeline requires innovative solutions like our Neighbourhood Energy Utility which recycle waste heat from sewage to provide low carbon heating and hot water. The Climate Emergency is the defining issue of our time, and the world can look to cities for the way forward.”

Share article

More Articles