2016 was a monumental year for C40, our member cities and our mayors. Not only did the Paris Agreement enter into force less than one year after COP21, but we also saw the number of C40 member cities grow to 90, representing more than 650 million citizens, and our Steering Committee unanimously elected the first-ever woman C40 Chair, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, to lead the organisation. Below, we look back at ten key moments that made 2016 a very productive and important year.
1) Mapping the Obstacles: Ahead of the Climate Action 2016 Summit in Washington, D.C., C40 released an analysis from more than 80 of the world’s largest cities that revealed barriers limiting their ambitions to tackle climate change. The analysis gave attendees and city officials around the world a practical approach for delivering meaningful action through new research, programmes and policies.
2) Partnering to Drive Solutions: C40, the New Climate Economy and the WRI Ross Centre for Sustainable Cities, launched the Coalition for Urban Transitions, the first major international initiative to make the economic case for better urban development globally.
3) Focus on China: At the U.S.-China Climate-Smart/Low Carbon Cities Summit, jointly organized by the UnitedStates and China in Beijing, C40 launched the New Technical Assistance Programme and added two Chinese cities – Chengdu and Dalian – to the C40 network during the Summit.
4) Measuring to Manage: C40 Chinese cities Wuhan and Shenzhen, became the first cities in China to develop comprehensive inventories of their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using a global and the international gold standard, the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC).
5) City Solutions on the World’s Stage: In July, C40 attended the World Cities Summit (WCS), a global platform for government leaders and industry experts to address livable and sustainable city challenges and forge new partnerships. At WCS, C40 and the Singapore National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) gathered mayors and city leaders at the event “From Ambition to Action: The Vital Role of Cities in Achieving the Paris Agreement” to champion innovative urban solutions.
6) First Woman C40 Chair: In Rio, outgoing C40 Chair and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes announced that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was elected to succeed him as C40 Chair. The C40 Steering Committee elected her unanimously as the first woman chair of the organisation.
7) Championing a New Urban Agenda: At Habitat III in Quito, the mayors of the world’s major cities called on national governments and international financial institutions to help finance low-carbon and sustainable projects.
8) Forging Finance Solutions: C40 Cities Finance Facility – which has already helped enable pilot projects in Bogotá and Mexico City – received $2.3m from USAID to help cities access financing for climate projects. The financial support will help cities in the Global South access and mobilize financing for climate change adaption and mitigation projects.
9) Local Leaders at COP22: At COP22 the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy announced the collective impact of their 7,100 member cities’ actions to accelerate world progress on meeting the commitments of the Paris Agreement and stressed the importance of expanding access to city-climate finance. In Marrakech, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also set the stage for Women4Climate, an initiative for women leadership in tackling climate change.
10) Culmination at the C40 Mayors Summit: More than 60 mayors and deputy mayors from the world’s largest and most influential megacities convened for the sixth biennial C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico City, featuring 70 speakers covering a range of topics from waste management to mass transit. Attendees shared climate strategies and discussed the importance and implementation of urban solutions to climate change.
At the opening ceremony, C40 unveiled Deadline 2020: How Cities Will Get the Job Done— ground-breaking research that explains what cities need to do to meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement and its plan to support cities to deliver, backed by the C40 Steering Committee and strategic funders.
At the C40 Awards, sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies and BYD, 11 cities from around the world were recognised for the leadership they demonstrate in addressing climate change.
On the last day of the Summit, select C40 cities announced that diesel vehicles will be removed from their cities by 2025, as part of unprecedented effort by mayors to improve the quality of air for their citizens. Mayors from the United States launched country-specific data and vowed to continue the climate fight at the local level. Additionally, C40 Chair and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and powerful women mayors officially launched the Women4Climate agenda.
2016 has been an incredible year for C40. Thank you to those who contributed and congratulated – we’re looking forward to another exciting year following the successful C40 Summit in Mexico City, and look forward to taking bold and concrete actions to meet the Paris Agreement.