Cities are already at the forefront of global climate action, taking significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and clean the air that citizens breathe. More than 45 of the world’s leading cities, as members of C40 Cities, have already committed to developing climate action plans that will deliver on the highest goal of the Paris Agreement to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.
In the lead up to the Global Climate Action Summit, taking place in San Francisco, September 12 – 14th, all mayors globally are being invited to redouble their commitment to bold climate action, as part of the “One Planet Charter.”
The policies and initiatives reflected in the One Planet Charter demonstrate that cities have a swift, yet achievable road map for bold and inclusive climate action. If adopted, they will ensure cities deliver their fair share of emissions reductions to keep global warming within the boundaries that scientists tell us is safe.
Actions that cities could choose to implement include, amongst other initiatives:
- Developing a climate action plan by the end of 2020 that aligns with the highest goal of the Paris Agreement: to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and adapt to the impacts of climate change;
- Signing the Green & Healthy (Fossil-Fuel-Free) Streets Declaration, which commits cities to achieving fossil-fuel free streets by procuring only zero-emission buses from 2025, and ensure a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030;
- Committing to decarbonize building stock, by enacting regulations and/or planning policy to ensure new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030, and all buildings by 2050. Cities can additionally commit to owning, occupying and developing only assets that are net zero carbon in operation by 2030. All signatories are also encouraged to report on emissions beyond carbon (e.g., refrigerants)
- Committing to advance towards Zero Waste by slashing the amount of waste generated by at least 15% per capita by 2030. Cities also pledge to reduce the amount of municipal solid waste disposed to landfill or incineration by at least 50% and increase the diversion rate away from landfill and incineration to at least 70% by 2030.
- Pledging to deliver climate action that benefits all citizens equitably such as by increasing action on community-led development, inclusive climate action and infrastructure projects that achieve major environmental, health, social and economic benefits especially in low-income and vulnerable communities.
Details of all the potential actions that cities could take to raise the bar ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit are available here, along with information on how to participate.
“Mayors of the world’s great cities know that we must think local and act global in implementing the Paris Agreement at the local level,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40. “Cities are already where the boldest climate action is taking place and the Global Climate Action Summit represents a unique opportunity to step up our ambition even further.”