Supporting cities to achieve a Global Green New Deal with a green and just recovery at its core

Cities face critical social, political and economic barriers to delivering ambitious climate action which will be compounded by the economic and social crisis following COVID-19. This initiative, led by the partnership between C40 Cities and Open Society Foundations, will support targeted engagement in 20+ champion cities across five regions. It will focus on delivering inclusive and equitable transformative climate action and a just transition, demonstrating what a Global Green New Deal and green and just recovery look like in practice.

The partnership:

  1. Provides cities with informed guidance and assistance to accelerate the inclusive and equitable implementation of their climate action plans and sectoral commitments.
  2. Supports mayors in putting inclusive climate action at the heart of urban decision-making.
  3. Showcases the results to spread success to cities worldwide and influence the global narrative on climate leadership and COVID-19 recovery.
  4. Supports mayors to provide political leadership to compel the adoption of more ambitious and equitable climate action and nurture cross-sectoral coalitions.
  5. Builds active coalitions, which include mayors, climate movements, organised labour, youth activists and businesses.

To achieve these aims, the programme focuses on the following activities:

  • Provide deep-dive support in a series of pilot cities – including Los Angeles, Barcelona, Warsaw, Accra and five South African cities to address critical socio-economic challenges resulting in successful working modules for transformational change at the urban level.
  • Provide direct support (training, policy analysis, technical assistance, coalition building and civil society alignment, communication and public engagement) to achieve key identified goals for delivering inclusive climate action at the city level.
  • The five pilots will also work closely with a broader cohort of C40 “peer cities”. Together the pilot and peer cities will work together on a 1:1 basis to drive a co-learning process on a specific area of inclusive climate action relevant to the Global Green New Deal and emerging from the five pilots.

Pilot city focuses

  • Accra will develop a new approach to involving the informal sector in climate action, initially in the waste sector
  • Barcelona will strengthen equity-led climate programmes that will increase the climate resilience of vulnerable populations and reduce energy poverty.
  • Cape Town, Durban, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg and Tshwane will work collectively to strengthen skills, knowledge and capacity on just transition for action at the city level.
  • Los Angeles will work collaboratively with civil society and key stakeholders on a just transition for the city and the creation of green jobs
  • Warsaw will develop a new programme to address indoor air quality and energy poverty for low income groups, and build a local urban coalition with key stakeholders to further city climate action

Goals of the initiative

The intended impact is promoting city-level action and regional and global peer-to-peer learning and engagement, gradually generating a ripple effect and building the potential for cities and regions to lobby their national governments and regional institutions on specific areas of the Global Green New Deal and green economy recovery.

The goal is to support the building of local, regional and global coalitions that will drive necessary economic outcomes in the next ten years to keep warming to 1.5°C and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Leading cities: Barcelona, Warsaw, Accra, Los Angeles, Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane

International Trade Union Confederation, the world’s largest global union federation, representing more than 207 million workers in 163 countries. The Confederation’s three global priorities are democracy and rights, a new social contract, and Just Transition for climate ambition.
Just Transition Centre, launched by the International Trade Union Confederation and the European Trade Union Confederation, brings together workers and their unions, communities, businesses and governments in social dialogue to ensure that labour has a seat at the table when planning for a Just Transition to a low-carbon world. 
Urban Movement Innovation Network, seeks to provide movement support, capacity and connection, to focus support where real world victories are possible and create momentum.  The network also strives to enable more powerful collective strategies for climate action, aligning inside tracks such as city network organisations with outside tracks such as movements and campaigning groups.

Global Green New Deal – Outcomes Report

Published August 2023

C40 has been working with 10 cities to demonstrate the transformative action a Global Green New Deal can achieve.

Learn about pilot project outcomes and city actions in the full Outcomes Report.

Cover image from the C40 Global Green New Deal Outcomes Report published in August 2023. The image shows a diverse group of people sitting in a public square on a sunny day.
© Maysun for Vox