Mayors of Bogota and Los Angeles lead a C40 meeting about climate action in Latin American Cities

C40 and non-C40 Mayors in attendance shared their actions for a green and just recovery aligned with ambitious and inclusive climate policies.

Mayors of Los Angeles and Bogota highlighted the urgency of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and invited mayors to join the Race to Zero campaign and mobilize businesses, unions, youth activists and civil society for COP26   

Bogotá – Los Angeles, November 12th, 2020 - In their respective roles as C40 Chair and Regional Vice-Chair, the mayors of Los Angeles and  Bogotá led a high level meeting within the “Dialogue for climate action in Latin American cities in the context of COVID-19”, a joint initiative set in motion by the mayors of Bogotá and Buenos Aires, also C40 Regional Vice-Chair. Five Latin American mayors attended the meeting along with the Mayor of Los Angeles, Chair of C40. Ms. Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, also sent an encouraging message to the cities via a pre-recorded video. 

The discussion focused on the implementation of inclusive climate action plans that are aligned with the Paris Agreement. Mayors also emphasized the urgency of cities taking concrete action to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver a green and just recovery within the framework of a new urbanism, which entails reimagining urban planning; investments in mass transit, walking and cycling infrastructure; new and clean mobility; and financial support from national governments and multilateral organizations.

Ms. Patricia Espinosa clearly said that “the fight against climate change will be won or lost in the cities and I know we can win. If we take drastic measures now, we can achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century, reach the goals of the Paris Agreement and ultimately avoid unmanageable climate change, which will impact every country and every city and community on this planet.”

C40 Vice-Chair Mayor Claudia López noted that Bogota has just declared a climate emergency in coordination with the City Council. She also referred to the city's new urban planning to transform the urban grid with green corridors prioritizing walking and cycling and sustainable mass transit. 

C40 Chair and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti invited cities to implement a green, just and inclusive agenda to recover from the pandemic and to participate in a campaign to promote the Global Green New Deal to address the climate emergency together with youth, unions, businesses and civil society. He also invited participants to mobilize and help hundreds of cities in the region arrive at COP26 with a commitment to inclusive urban climate action as part of the Race to Zero.  

All cities expressed the importance of national governments and multilateral organizations providing resources for the COVID-19 recovery to generate green jobs, equitable communities, just and inclusive societies. Furthermore, they’ve called on multilateral organizations to directly and swiftly provide cities with new funding.

This Dialogue for climate action in Latin American cities in the context of COVID-19 is part of a series of discussions organized by the Latin American Vice Chairs of C40, Mayor Claudia Lopez of Bogota and Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta of Buenos Aires. These Mayors are committed to lead the path towards COP 26 and to help cities in the region to participate in the Race to Zero initiative. 

Quotes from mayors:

“Cities worldwide are on the front lines of the impacts of climate change -- and we stand front and center in the fight to address it,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mayors López and Rodriguez Larreta and leaders across Latin America in the battle to realize the promises of the Paris Agreement, carry forward the principles of a Global Green New Deal, forge a future of sustainability and equity, and deliver a green economy that works for everyone.”

“Facing the climate crisis is one of the five priorities we have in Bogotá. We will work on mitigation and adaptation; furthermore, we are committed to and will seek to provide effective incentive structures for the private sector, civil society and the general public to commit to the changes necessary to overcome this crisis, change habits and face climate change, which is already a reality. Being part of C40 and integrating the Steering Committee is a very great responsibility, that is why we seek articulation with other cities in the region, which allows us to collaborate on the international scene and overcome in the best way the challenges that the current situation demands” affirmed the Mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López.

“To reconcile Cartagena with its territory and turn it into a sustainable and resilient city it is imperative to plan its shores. They are the shores, those border lands that must be adapted so that there is an integral articulation between the aquatic and the terrestrial environments” said the Mayor of Cartagena, William Dau Chamat.

"The Municipality of Lima has assumed the commitment to fight against climate change based on concrete mitigation and adaptation actions that allow us to face the climate emergency, and guarantee the sustainability of the city and the well-being of citizens. The current framework of the global pandemic due to COVID-19 has brought new challenges, but at the same time, it has generated opportunities that allow us to strengthen the proximity of the city with its inhabitants." stated Jorge Muñoz, Mayor of Lima

"Global problems need local solutions. The cities of Argentina share a climate agenda that, with its nuances and particularities, proposes a comprehensive view of the environment and the conditions necessary for citizens to be co-responsible actors, together with the states, in the transition towards a fairer and more sustainable future" said Emilio Jatón, Mayor of Santa Fé. 

For years, in Buenos Aires we have been committed to climate action. We transformed the city with the clear objective of making Buenos Aires a human scale city, designed so that people can live, study, work and enjoy themselves in all neighborhoods. Now, from the Vice Presidency of C40, together with Bogotá we want to encourage more Latin American cities to walk the path of sustainability, implementing climate policies throughout the region. We need the voice of the cities to be heard in the forums of global discussion and that national leaders take into account our vision and the needs we have in sustainable development plans" expressed Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Head of Government of the City of Buenos Aires in support of the results of the event.

- ENDS - 

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