Catch up on C40’s highlights from the 2024 London Climate Action Week

London Climate Action Week opened with special guests

On the first day of London Climate Action Week, we joined climate innovators and leaders in a C40 Cities and Mastercard co-hosted event at Goals House featuring esteemed guests.

The event included talks by Mastercard’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Ellen Jackowski, and Senior Vice President of Transit and Urban Mobility, Chapin Flynn, who highlighted their innovative approaches to making access to sustainable forms of active mobility and public transport barrier-free. George The Poet also joined to deliver an inspiring poem and speech on our connection to nature, particularly highlighting the urgent need to address the injustices of the climate crisis.

© Greater London Authority – Caroline Teo

Selwin Hart, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition, also delivered a rousing speech on the need to drive forward solutions to climate breakdown despite the obstacles and challenges presented by the fossil fuel industry. Finally, C40’s Co-Chair Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan officially opened this year’s event, highlighting C40 cities’ ambitions and leadership in creating a safe, green and thriving future for all.

© Greater London Authority – Caroline Teo

The launch of Mission 2025

C40 joined the global coalition, Mission 2025, urging national governments to align climate action plans with the Paris Agreement target of limiting global heating to 1.5°C ahead of the UN’s crucial deadline in early 2025. 

This initiative comes less than a year before the crucial February 2025 deadline, when countries are required to submit enhanced climate plans (Nationally Determined Contributions) to the United Nations for the period 2025-2035.

C40 Executive Director, Mark Watts, said: “This is the path to future shared prosperity, creating millions of good, green jobs and charting a just transition out of the inequality and pollution of the fossil fuel era.”

Mayors deliver good green jobs in cities around the world

At the 2022 C40 World Mayors Summit, mayors committed to drive the creation of 50 million good green jobs. During London Climate Action Week, C40 Co-Chair Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched C40’s latest analysis proving mayors are delivering on their word.

The analysis found global C40 cities already have nearly 16 million good green jobs, equivalent to 10% of all jobs in these cities, with the highest rates of green jobs in the transport, waste, electricity and construction sectors.

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Green investment drives sustainable job growth, showing the potential for economic development through a green and just transition. Alongside youth, unions, and businesses, mayors are creating inclusive and sustainable economies.

Explore good green jobs in global C40 cities and read coverage of this key announcement.

Celebrating one year of Breathe Cities

Breathe Cities—an ambitious initiative to fight toxic air pollution in cities supported by C40, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Clean Air Fund—celebrated its first year during London Climate Action Week.

Launched at last year’s event by C40 Co-Chair Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and President of the C40 Board, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Mike Bloomberg, the programme has grown and now includes 11 global cities. 

From Rio de Janeiro and Accra, to Jakarta and Warsaw, cities are showing their commitment to reducing air pollution, slashing carbon emissions, and enhancing public health using learnings from London, which has the world’s largest clean air zone.

Executive Director of Breathe Cities, Jaime Pumarejo, shared a message for the day. Watch it below:

Phasing out fossil fuels using the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy approach

C40 launched a new report showcasing how the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy approach can help cities phase out fossil fuels. The report presents key insights and case studies from these cities, supported by the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy for Cities programme in partnership with Google.

Cities like Copenhagen, eThekwini, London, and Paris are at the forefront, using the 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy approach to pioneer innovative energy transition methods. By adopting this strategy, cities can create comprehensive energy plans, increase clean energy deployment, and reduce demand during high-carbon periods.

In a C40 event during London Climate Action Week, we explored initiatives from London, C40 and our partners that are moving towards 24/7 carbon-free energy through demand-side management and carbon flexing. Access the report to learn more.

C40 senior leaders sharing expertise

Experts from C40 joined several events across the week to share cities’ insights on implementing decisive, science-based climate action that benefits people and the planet.

At the London Stadium, in the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, C40 co-hosted an event with the Greater London Authority’s Environment and Energy team. We were joined by business and public sector leaders to discuss approaches to financing climate action. Andrea Fernandez, C40 Managing Director of Climate Finance, Knowledge and Partnerships, participated in a panel session on cities’ roles as global centres for green finance. She said: “First of all, having a very robust climate action plan that addresses mitigation, adaptation, and equity is incredibly important to mayors. Having clarity on targets, timelines, and actions helps shape an early pipeline, which all investors want to see. The bankability of this pipeline is another question. Having political commitment is crucial, especially in climate budgeting, which is a new initiative ensuring that every part of the municipal government aligns with climate targets.”

Speakers from a C40 and GLA c-hosted event during London Climate Action Week

Later in the week, C40 senior leaders participated in the Smart Cities World ‘Climate Climate Action Summit’. Cassie Sutherland, C40 Managing Director of Climate Solutions & Networks, joined an engaging panel on unlocking the transition to renewables through innovative policymaking. Cassie highlighted the key issues for cities and residents in the renewable energy transition, including creating good green jobs in the just transition and protecting and improving public health. Andrea Fernandez also sat down with Enver Enver, the Greater London Authority’s Interim Chief Finance Officer. They discussed urban climate finance approaches and London’s experience of joining C40’s climate budgeting programme.

As this busy week in London comes to a close, C40 and our cities look ahead to key climate milestones such as the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Summit of the Future, and Climate Week NYC, all taking place concurrently in September 2024. During a critical year for democracy and our planet, these events will gather high-level stakeholders and national governments in New York City, where mayors will showcase their bold leadership on the global stage.

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