What is a green and just transition?

A green and just transition is C40’s vision for a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for everyone, everywhere.

By investing in climate solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and keep global heating below 1.5°C, city leaders can mitigate climate breakdown and deliver health benefits, create jobs and tackle systemic inequality.

To achieve a green and just transition, C40 cities have committed to:

  • Creating new green jobs within an inclusive economy, offering career paths away from the high-carbon sectors of yesterday to the low-carbon industries of today and tomorrow.
  • Working towards resilience and equity by providing fundamental public services for everyone, while channelling investment into public services such as clean water, food, sanitation, affordable and safe housing, public transit, cycling, electric vehicles and low-emission zones.
  • Taking action to improve health and wellbeing, by giving public space back to people and nature, reclaiming streets, improving air quality, and creating liveable communities.
  • Collaborating and engaging with residents, communities and workers to understand the challenges they face as part of the transition, ensuring that all stakeholders benefit as cities implement climate solutions.


What is the evidence for a green and just transition?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the inextricable link between health, the environment and the economy, the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force carried out analysis and modelling in late 2020 to determine what could happen if the world’s major cities collectively prioritised a green and just recovery.

The report assessed the potential impact of green and just recovery packages on GHG emissions, health, employment and economic investment. Six representative cities were included in the analysis to provide illustrative results from the regions where most C40 member cities are located, including Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia.

The analyses found that investments in key areas such as mass transit, clean energy, and walking and cycling infrastructure would have transformational economic and health benefits for C40 cities and their supply chains. It would also put the world on track to keep global heating to less than 1.5°C compared with a business-as-usual scenario.

At a glance…

50 % cut in GHG emissions, helping to keep global heating below 1.5°C
29 % reduction in air pollution in cities, protecting health and saving lives
50 million good, green jobs by 2030
Source: www.c40knowledgehub.org/s/article/The-Case-for-a-Green-and-Just-Recovery

How are cities making the transition a reality?

Cities are spearheading a green and just transition by demonstrating the highest level of climate ambition.

Discover below how cities are working with C40 to implement science-based climate solutions that create a safer, more equitable and sustainable future for their residents.


Securing an equitable, green and healthy future requires urgent action and collaboration between cities, businesses and communities.

We encourage all stakeholders to engage with C40’s resources to take meaningful, urgent action and help achieve a green and just transition.