About the Forum

Young people have put the climate emergency on the global political agenda, demanding that global leaders respond and take action in an equitable and just way. Mayors from the world’s leading cities have heard this call and agree: we must push forward with courage and ambition to change the status quo that has generated this crisis.

C40 mayors and young leaders from the climate movement will work together to shape a vision of a Global Green New Deal that can be made a reality in cities across the world. The Forum will discuss how:

  • to implement a Global Green New Deal;
  • cities can better engage and work with youth leaders on climate to push forward ambition and;
  • youth movements and mayors can work together to push forward science-based climate action and overcome opposition.

The Forum is part of C40’s Global Youth Initiative, announced by Mayor of Los Angeles and former Chair of C40, Eric Garcetti, at the 2019 C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. Contact youth@c40.org for more information.

Youth members of the Forum

New Delhi, India
Asheer Kandhari is a 17-year-old climate activist from New Delhi, India which – the most polluted capital city in the world. She is a Member of Fridays For Future International, a core-member and organiser for Fridays For Future India and the organizer and coordinator for the Youth in the DelhiTreeSOS Movement. Asheer comes from a country where over 2.5 million people have died due to air pollution in the last year alone, 30 million people have been displaced or deprived of their livelihoods due to deforestation ,and where 1.08 billion people have been affected by more than 300 natural disasters in the last two decades. The climate crisis is not a crisis of the future ,but rather the reality of today. With this opportunity to be a part of the Global Youth Mayors Forum, Asheer hopes to further her activism and help develop real, feasible solutions to the climate crisis.
Kolkata, India
Ayantika is a “Sustainability Evangelist”. Having realised her passion for sustainability, she decided to pursue it as a career, focusing on a purpose-driven life. During her undergraduate studies, she started interning with organisations such as Climate Collective, Sustain and Save in India. Currently a 1st year student, she is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Development. Having experience as a Climate Reality Leader, she was given an opportunity with a not-for-profit organization Mobility Alliance and Social Sustainability (MASS) Foundation to showcase her skills in communications and strategy. She is also involved with India’s first waste commerce company, Recykal, in the capacity of a consultant.
Accra, Ghana
Betty Osei Bonsu is an environmentalist, author and climate justice leader from Ghana. She serves as a project coordinator for Green Africa Youth Organisation (GAYO), where she champions a sustainable community project in Accra and pushes for its replication in other regions of Ghana. She has contributed to the Global Landscape Forum Biodiversity Report, facilitated training on green jobs for women across West Africa, in collaboration with the World University Services of Canada, and hosts a YouTube show called ‘B. Inspired with Stories from Africa’ – in which she tells stories from across the continent centred on community values and the environment. Betty is a keen advocate for a green and just recovery and wishes to interact with like-minded youth leaders to bolster her climate activism. She says that her selection to be a part of the Global Youth and Mayors Forum is timely, as she can contribute to the shared vision of promoting a Global Green New Deal that can be made a reality in cities across the world.
Los Angeles, United States
Dilan Gohill is a fifteen-year-old climate justice organizer from Los Angeles, California in the United States. He serves as the co-national coordinator of Extinction Rebellion (XR) Youth United States, facilitating the growth and empowerment of over 50 local groups across the country. As the co-coordinator of Extinction Rebellion Youth L.A., Dilan has planned many actions and campaigns targeting the unsustainable industries and corporations headquartered in the city through non-violent direct action. These include: Hollywood/the film industry, the music industry, and the LA Department of Water and Power. Dilan is also a local organizer in Los Angeles and serves on a Youth Advisory Council for his Representative in the United States House of Representatives. In this capacity, he discusses and shares his perspective on climate change, racial justice, and current issues affecting the United States. As a member of the Global Youth and Mayors Forum, Dilan hopes to promote intergenerational dialogue and serve as a direct link between the young people in his city and country and youth leaders and mayors from around the world.
Port-au-prince, Haïti
Djivenson Macius is a 24-year-old climate activist in Haiti. He is originally from the city of Gonaïves, but currently lives in Port-au-Prince (the capital of the country) because of his studies at the State University of Haiti. Worried about the environmental and climate issues facing his country, Djivenson Macius has always strived to be part of the fight against climate change. Last year, in collaboration with other young people from his university, he started a student-led organization called “Sustainability Week Port-au-Prince” which aims to bring sustainability to universities in Haiti through a set of awareness-raising activities on the Sustainable Development Goals. He is also part of a youth association called “Unite4climate Action” which is a group formed by young from Latin American, the Caribbean and Europe. that aims to create bridges between continents so that the voices of the most vulnerable people can be heard in the fight against climate change. He is motivated to participate in the Global Youth and Mayors Forum and sees this as an opportunity to make his voice heard and to work with important stakeholders to achieve concrete actions for the future of the planet. Djivenson Macius is committed to climate issues, and is open to collaborating with any party (individual or organization) defending the same cause and supporting the development of his community.
Suwon, South Korea
Dohyeon Kim is a climate activist from Suwon, South Korea. Her interest in human rights helped her view climate change through an intersectional lens and motivated her to throw herself into climate activism in 2019. Since then, she has organized multiple climate strikes in Korea and lobbied politicians including the Minister of Environment. She also worked on a nation-wide campaign to get provincial education departments to divest from coal and provide all students with substantial climate change education. In 2020, Dohyeon filed a constitutional lawsuit against the Korean government for failing to take adequate climate action and protect her generation’s right to a liveable planet. Although the youth climate movement has earned much attention worldwide, Dohyeon thinks young people are still too often excluded from important decision-making processes that will greatly impact their lives. This is why she decided to join the C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum, where she is able to collaborate with mayors around the world and help shape climate policies.
Kampala, Uganda
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye is a climate and environmental rights activist from Kampala, Uganda. She is the founder of Uganda’s Fridays for Future movement, and she plays a leading role in climate action for the Children and Youth Constituency for Sustainable Communities (CYCSC). Hilda uses every available opportunity to join fellow youth leaders in spreading the climate awareness and action needed to build a sustainable and safe planet for all.
New York, United States
Jade Lozada is a writer and climate organizer in New York City. She was a local youth organizer of the September 20th Global Climate Strike, which brought together a record-breaking 300,000 people for the planet. As Policy Director at TREEage, Jade is now working to empower local youth, especially those from low-income communities of color, in climate policy- and decision-making. In addition to developing climate policy platforms for local progressive candidates, Jade is helping build an intersectional youth coalition to register 15,000 young people — the demographic with the lowest voter turnout — to vote in the upcoming New York City elections. As a youth member of the C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum, Jade cannot wait to learn about bold climate solutions that can be implemented in New York City, as well as collaborate with the other members on best practices to uplift youth in local decision-making.
Nairobi, Kenya
Juliet Oluoch is an ambitious young environmental conservationist and climate activist from Nairobi, Kenya with a concrete vision to ensure that all people in her country learn to co-exist in a mutual kind of relationship with nature. Juliet serves as the communications coordinator for Kenya’s chapter of the African Youths Initiative on Climate Change. She is also a member of Kenya’s Green Building Society, Commonwealth Youth Climate Network and many other organizations. Currently, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Conservation and Natural Resources Management at The University of Nairobi. Juliet is motivated by a strong desire to protect the natural world which has become fragile in the face of modern humanity which threatens our very own existence. She is passionate about the realization of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #13.
Islamabad, Pakistan
Khadijah is a social activist from Islamabad, Pakistan with special interest in urbanization, climate and environmental protection, social entrepreneurship, young people, gender and governance issues. As Co-founder of Eco-Dost, she ran a digital advocacy campaign for environmental protection. Her project on environmentally friendly fertilizer won runner-up at a global Blue economy entrepreneurship program. While working as Minister for Disaster Management & Welfare at the Youth General Assembly of Pakistan, Khadijah produced a policy brief for the federal government. She holds memberships of YOUNGO (Youth Constituency of UNFCCC), Amnesty International, Youth General Assembly, Rotaract Club, and Youth, Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development Workshop at Rutgers University in the United States. Presently, she is working to earn a Bachelor of Social Sciences with majors in developmental studies at Bahria University in Islamabad. Khadijah is a strong supporter of youth activism and participation in community building and public services. Her passion is to help improve civic life in Pakistan through her participation in the Global Youth and Mayors Forum.
Paris, France
Marie is a climate activist living in Paris, France. She works with Youth for Climate France, which is the French branch of Fridays for Future. She got involved in the climate movement because she believes that we are going through the greatest crisis humanity has ever seen. With this motivation, Marie fights every day for ecological and social justice, because the two struggles are inseparable. In Marie’s words: “I aspire to a viable and deeply just world for all.” Marie is very happy to be part of the C40 Youth and Mayors Forum, because she sees it as a place for meetings and genuine discussion about the climate crisis with people from all corners of the world working for a better world with different methods – she looks forward to hearing everyone’s ideas. She believes that we can make a difference at the city level, even when nations and states do not take adequate action at the global level. Marie believes that if we work together, we can make the change we need. [En français: Marie est une activiste pour le climat qui vit à Paris en France. Elle travaille avec Youth for Climate France qui est la branche française de Fridays for Future. Elle s’est engagée dans le mouvement pour le climat car elle pense que nous traversons la plus grande crise que l’humanité ait jamais connue. Forte de cette motivation, Marie se bat chaque jour pour la justice écologique et sociale car ces deux combats sont indissociables. Selon ses mots : “J’aspire à un monde durable et profondément juste pour tous. Marie est très heureuse de faire partie du Forum de la jeunesse et des maires du C40 car c’est un lieu de vraies rencontres et de discussions sur la crise climatique avec des activistes du monde entier qui œuvrent pour un monde meilleur chacun à sa manière – elle a d’ailleurs hâte d’entendre les idées de chacun. Elle est convaincue que nous pouvons faire la différence au niveau des villes même si les nations et les États ne prennent pas les mesures qui s’imposent au niveau international. Marie est convaincue qu’en travaillant tout ensemble, les changements nécessaires pourront voir le jour.]
Mexico City, Mexico
Pamela Escobar Vargas is a 21-year-old environmental activist, lecturer and researcher from Mexico City studying International Relations. Since 2016, she has carried out different environmental awareness activities in different forums in her country. In 2017, Pamela became a founding member of the Executive Commission of Youth Against Climate Change, where she currently serves as the Technical Secretary and works on the development of youth-driven climate projects. In 2019, Pamela co-founded Fridays For Future México, and became a national spokesperson and member of the Local Leaders Commission. In the same year, Pamela was a Youth Delegate at the C40 World Mayors Summit, held in Copenhagen, Denmark. As a member of the C40 Global Youth and Mayors Forum, Pamela wants to be able to contribute to the just and radical transition that we need for a green, equitable future. She believes that we cannot continue with the capitalist logic that has caused environmental collapse and this global crisis. In her words: “It’s life or capital, and I want to fight for the first, now, and always.” [En español: Pamela Escobar Vargas es una activista medioambiental con 21 años, conferencista e investigadora de Ciudad de México que estudia Relaciones Internacionales. Desde 2016, ha realizado diferentes actividades de concienciación medioambiental en distintos foros de su país. En 2017, Pamela se convirtió en miembro fundador de la Comisión Ejecutiva de Jóvenes contra el Cambio Climático, en la que actualmente ejerce de Secretaria Técnica y trabaja en el desarrollo de proyectos climáticos impulsados por los jóvenes. En 2019, Pamela cofundó Fridays For Future México, y se convirtió en portavoz nacional y miembro de la Comisión de Líderes Locales. Ese mismo año, Pamela fue delegada de la juventud en la Cumbre Mundial de Alcaldes del C40, celebrada en Copenhague (Dinamarca). Como miembro del Foro Global de Jóvenes y Alcaldes del C40, Pamela quiere poder contribuir a la transición justa y radical que necesitamos para un futuro verde y equitativo. Cree que no podemos seguir con la lógica capitalista que ha provocado el colapso medioambiental y la crisis global. En sus propias palabras: “?Es la vida o el capital, y quiero luchar por lo primero, ahora y siempre.”]
Quezon City, Philippines
Rain Bello is from Quezon City, Philippines and studies in an undergraduate physical therapy program at the University of the Philippines in Manila. He is a Climate Reality Leader and is a member of the administrative committee of Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines (YS4C PH), a nationwide youth-led organization and campaign fueled by the goal to empower young Filipino people to act against the climate crisis. In the climate movement, he works to educate Filipino youth about the many aspects of the climate crisis and empowers them to take action. As part of YS4C PH, Rain helped draft various statements and several youth demands raised to elected officials and government institutions. Rain believes that the climate crisis is also a health crisis that gravely compounds on social injustices.
Limerick, Ireland
Saoirse is a climate activist from Limerick City in Ireland. In February 2019, she founded a local group of fellow climate activists. She organised three major local strikes, spoke to politicians, and was motivated by the powerful force of allies and fellow activists who stood beside her. In August 2019, she attended a meeting of global Fridays for Future activists in Switzerland to discuss climate-related issues, protest, have fun and make decisions about ongoing goals for Fridays For Future Europe. That week-long adventure taught her about the power of global solidarity and standing with each other to change the world. Saoirse is also the Equality Officer of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union (ISSU), working to include intersectionality within the union, and throughout Ireland. She was also selected to be a COY16 Country Coordinator for an international event preceding COP26 in Glasgow, and is a fellow at Civics Unplugged, an United States-based organisation focused on changing the democratic system and by extension the world. Saoirse believes that unity is the key to overcoming any crisis that affects our planet. She believes that we can come together to create a world that’s better for everyone by recognising our differences and our similarities.

Mayors of the Forum

Forum chair
Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia
Claudia López started her mandate on the 1st of January 2020 for a four-year term. She became the city’s first female and also the first lesbian Mayor in Bogota’s history. She has an emphatic focus on the environmental, social equity and anticorruption agendas. Seeking to provide equal opportunities, Mayor López promotes gender equality and inclusion targeted specially at women and youth. She is a firm believer of the need to channel and make the most of the force of young people to promote the construction of a better world. Lopez was a Senator of the Republic of Colombia between 2014 and 2018 and the vice-presidential candidate in the 2018 presidential election for the Green Alliance party. The public recognizes her tenacity and enormous capacity for collective action, which was reflected in the fight against corruption by leading a citizen consultancy, a participatory instrument, with historic results. Before entering her political career, Lopez was an accomplished researcher and scholar. Lopez is a finance and international relations graduate from Universidad Externado de Colombia, holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Urban Politics from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.
Mayor of Paris, France
On 2014, Anne Hidalgo became the first woman to be elected Mayor of Paris. She was born in Spain and acquired the French citizenship in her youth, she is a mother of three. After she graduated with a Master of Advanced Studies in social law, she became a labor inspector. She has been a member of the socialist party since 1994, serving as national Secretary for Culture and Media, she later was in charge of the vocational training. From 1997 to 2002, she worked as an adviser in three Minister’s cabinets, under Lionel Jospin Government. She served as Paris First Deputy Mayor of Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, for thirteen years, in charge of gender equality at first then of urban Planning and Architecture. She led the Parisian left coalition to victory in 2004 and 2010. She was re-elected mayor of Paris in 2020, heading the left-wing coalition “Paris en commun”, pursuing an ambitious program designed to transform Paris into a zero-carbon city by 2030. She holds the position of First Vice President of the Greater Paris Metropolitan Area. As Paris mayor, she actively pursues a policy based on social inclusion, sustainable development, climate change, air quality, solidarity, innovation and citizen participation, all of which are essential issues for the future of Paris. She is committed to advancing these issues at the international level. She organized in Paris the climate summit for local leaders, a major side event of COP21 (December 2015). For its fifth anniversary a “Zero carbon Forum” was held at Paris City Hall (December 2020), alongside with many international events. Some programs launched under the supervision of Paris, such as Cities for Life, Reinventing Paris, the Participatory budget, Embellishing Paris… are now benchmark programs. She wishes to shape Paris into a 15-minute city, an ambitious, inclusive, quantifiable and efficient program that places citizens at the center of urban transition. From 2016 to 2019, she chaired C40 Cities Leadership Group, which consists of 90 megacities committed to address climate change. Within C40 she launched Women4climate initiative in New York (March 2017) and a plan for air quality in Paris Air’Volution (March 2017). In collaboration with other cities and international agencies she started the Global urban Air Pollution Observatory (GUAPO). In 2019, she also launched the Justice4Climate initiative, in the wake of a ruling of the European Court of Justice confirming that the cities of Paris, Brussels and Madrid are entitled to challenge vehicle emission regulations set by the European Commission and adopted by governments of member states. She is President of the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF), Co-Chair of the cities world organization, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) where she chairs the gender equality commission, and also President of SOLIDEO, an Olympic Equipment Supply Company, responsible for the supply program and development operations for the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2024 in Paris.
Mayor of Medellín, Colombia
Daniel Quintero was born in the city of Medellín, he won the mayoralty with his independent citizen movement “Independientes”, in a historic election he became the youngest elected mayor in the history of this city with more than 303 thousand votes. He is an electronic engineer from the University of Antioquia, a finance specialist from the University of Los Andes and an MBA from Boston University, he also has studies in Public Finance Administration and in Climate Change Policy at Harvard University. He has more than 10 years of experience as a software developer within the ICT sector. He is an experienced and innovative entrepreneur who founded Intrasoft S.A. Colombia, a software development company. He was CEO of iNNpulsa Colombia, the government agency for the support of productivity, entrepreneurship and innovation. He served as Vice Minister of Technologies and Innovation Systems and was also Vice Minister of Digital Economy of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of Colombia. He firmly believes that education is the best tool to combat inequality and achieving goals. One of his goals as mayor is for Medellín to become a great Software Valley that impacts Colombia and the world, responding to the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He considers that the motivation and support of the youth in the great city bets is fundamental for the citizen transformation and the solution to the problems that arise in the territories. From his work, he trusts that young people are the bearers of the great ideas that will allow building the future, where, through permanent articulation with institutional work, it will be possible to generate large-scale channels to carry out their initiatives for economic recovery and compliance with the Paris Agreement.
Mayor of Auckland, New Zealand
Phil Goff is a born and bred Aucklander. After more than 10 terms in New Zealand Parliament, he was elected Mayor of Auckland in 2016, and re-elected in 2019. In 2019 under Mayor Goff, Auckland Council was one of the first council’s in New Zealand to unanimously declare a climate emergency, and Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan has as one of its priorities intergenerational equity and rangatahi/youth-led action. Mayor Goff’s recent 10-year Budget proposal for Auckland responds to climate change through a strong suite of measures that includes immediately stopping the purchase of diesel buses, enhancing tree planting and substantially increasing our zero-waste resource recovery network. It also a proposes a Rangatahi Māori (Māori Youth) leadership group to drive action and work with Māori to deliver practical projects to restore te mauri o te wai (the life supporting capacity of Auckland’s waters), promote indigenous food sovereignty and restore our whenua (land). The Mayor has also recently announced a $31 billion programme transport of investment with central government that will for the first time turn around transport emissions rising in Auckland, reducing emissions by 13 per cent per capita over the next 10 years. Other investment in the package will significantly increase public transport use, walking and cycling.
Mayor of Austin, Texas
Steve Adler is Austin’s 52nd Mayor, having won re-election in 2018 by 40 points in a field of 8 candidates. His top priorities include mobility, affordability and equity for all Austinites. Adler is a Trustee of the United States Conference of Mayors, Past Chair of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) policy board, and Vice President of the National Council of Democratic Mayors. While he’s been in office the City of Austin passed the largest mobility and affordable housing bonds in its history. The city raised its minimum city wage to $15/hr, passed city-wide sick leave and second chance hiring protections. Still working on the homelessness challenge, the city has become one of a limited number of cities to achieve effective net zero veteran homelessness. The city has become a world leader on climate change action. Mayor Adler has received broad recognition for innovative leadership. Foreign Policy named him a Global reThinker and Living Cities included Mayor Adler on its list of 25 Disruptive Leaders (along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and author Ta-Nehisi Coates) to mark that organization’s 25th anniversary. The Austin Chronicle readership has named Mayor Adler as Best City Official each year since 2016. Chronicle critics named Adler Best Drag Mother for his turn as Mother Ginger in Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker and Most Devoted Pen Pal for his viral Wonder Woman letter. Austin Monthly named Mayor Adler “Best Politician” for “fearlessly speaking up for Austinites [and] proving that a little snark goes a long way to support the morale of a community.”
Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE was sworn-in as Mayor of Freetown in May 2018 with a commitment to transform Freetown using an inclusive, data-driven approach to address challenges in the city. The 3-year Transform Freetown plan details 19 concrete targets across 11 sectors and covers issues ranging from tackling environmental degradation to facilitating the creation of jobs in the tourism sector. A finance professional with over 25 years of private sector experience in strategic planning, risk management consulting and project management, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr’s public sector engagement began with her work during the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic and her subsequent role as Delivery Team Lead for the second phase of a multi-stakeholder programme to drive socio-economic recovery in Sierra Leone post Ebola. Mayor Aki-Sawyerr is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MSc in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics and a BSc Hons in Economics from Fourah Bay College. She was recently recognized in the BBC 2020 100 Women list.

Activities update

January 2022

The Forum produced a video in partnership with Brut. Media calling for action on climate finance for the Global South. The video features an African youth climate leader and mayor who call on Global North governments to provide $100 billion a year to support the Global South to tackle the climate crisis.

November 2021

During COP26, Forum members were interviewed about their perspectives on the transition to inclusive green jobs. Several Forum members later attended the LA Mayors Youth Council for Climate Action to discuss how to implement global COP26 commitments locally. The Forum also published a Youth Engagement Playbook for Cities to help strengthen meaningful youth engagement in climate action in cities worldwide. The playbook is available in English, French, Mandarin, Portuguese and Spanish.

September 2021

Ahead of COP26, C40 convened the second Global Youth and Mayors Forum meeting, where attendees reflected on the Forum’s COP26 statement, the Cities Race to Zero campaign, global youth strikes and the Youth4Climate Summit.

July 2021

The Forum hosted a webinar on urban climate action and a Global Green New Deal, during which C40 Executive Director Mark Watts delivered a presentation on inclusive climate action and the importance of youth engagement. For C40’s Letters to Nature campaign, Forum member Juliet Oluoch shared a powerful message expressing her gratitude for the role nature and biodiversity plays in her life in Nairobi.

April 2021

The first Global Youth and Mayors Forum meeting was held and attended by youth and mayoral members. Participants discussed how to shape the vision of a Global Green New Deal through inclusive climate action and ways of making this a reality in cities around the world.