Mayors Announce Support For Global Green New Deal; Recognize Global Climate Emergency


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C40 mayors, led by Mayor Garcetti and Mayor Hidalgo, announce support for a Global Green New Deal to “drive an urgent, fundamental and irreversible transfer of global resources away from fossil fuels and into action that averts the climate emergency.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan,said: “The stark reality is we are running out of time to stop the worst impacts of Climate Change. Cities around the world are united in our frustration over a lack of global government action and I am pleased to join my fellow mayors in calling for a Global Green New Deal. In London we are leading the way in investing in the green economy, decarbonising our buildings and delivering green jobs, with people employed in the low-carbon goods sector in London increasing by 58 per cent over the last 10 years. We now need governments to match this ambition and adopt the Global Green New Deal principles to create more jobs and deliver the changes needed to infrastructure for a zero-carbon world."

Mayors of 94 climate leader cities recognise global climate emergency, joined by youth climate activists, representatives from labour, business and civil society.

Unprecedented gathering of 80 mayors and hundreds of climate leaders from all sectors committed to cutting emissions from the sectors most responsible for the climate crisis — transportation, buildings, industry, and waste — to keep global heating below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement at C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. 

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Copenhagen, Denmark (09 October 2019) — Newly elected C40 Chair, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, alongside the mayors of cities worldwide including Copenhagen, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Tokyo, today announced their support for a Global Green New Deal and recognized a global climate emergency.  

The broad coalition - including youth climate activists, and representatives from labour, business and civil society announced their support for the Global Green New Deal vision as mayors of the world’s largest cities warned that the planet is in a state of climate emergency. The message was issued by city leaders attending the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. Their call came in response to intergovernmental action being blocked by a minority of very powerful, science-denying governments, representing the interests of the fossil-fuel industry. 

Through the Global Green New Deal, cities have reaffirmed their commitment to protecting our environment, strengthening our economy, and building a more equitable future by cutting emissions from the sectors most responsible for the climate crisis -- transportation, buildings, industry, and waste -- to keep global heating below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. 

This includes putting inclusive climate action at the center of all urban decision-making to secure a just transition for those working in high-carbon industries and correct long-running environmental injustices for those disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis – people living in the global south generally, and the poorest communities everywhere.

Avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis means cutting global emissions in half by 2030. In practical terms that meansimproving mobility while replacing polluting fossil fuel powered vehicles with clean alternatives; setting the strictest possible building codes and reducing waste, amongst other actions. Policies already being delivered in cities around the world, thanks to the commitment of mayors to the C40 Net Zero Carbon Buildings, Advancing Towards Zero Waste, and Green & Healthy Streets Declarations. 

Keeping temperature rise to within the limits deemed safe by the overwhelming scientific evidence means not only cutting emissions, but also reducing the carbon already released into our planet’s atmosphere. Even standing still isn’t good enough.

The Global Green New Deal was immediately endorsed by those also committed to the level of action determined by science - including business leaders, investors, the labour movement, civil society, indigenous groups, informal settlement representatives and groups disproportionately impacted by climate change and poverty. Mayors Garcetti, Hidalgo and Jensen issued a clear challenge to national leaders, CEO’s and investors that haven’t yet matched the level of ambition detailed in the Global Green New Deal. 

Anne Hidalgo: 

“As mayors our first priority is to protect the safety of our citizens,” said Mayor of Paris and C40 Chair, Anne Hidalgo. “It will soon be four years since the Paris Agreement was signed in our city. World leaders met in New York just last month and once again failed to agree anything close to the level of action necessary to stop the climate crisis. Their ineptitude directly threatens all people around the globe as time keeps running against us. There is no other solution but a Global Green New Deal to be the pivotal instrument to win this race against the clock. All decision-makers must take responsibility in making it a reality".

Michael R Bloomberg

“As the need for bold climate action grows more urgent, mayors and cities are leading the way and getting results,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, C40 Board President, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, and

Mayor of New York City 2002-2013. “Together, C40 cities have taken thousands of successful actions to reduce carbon emissions, and they are proving how fighting climate change helps drive economic growth and improve public health. There is no time to waste."

“Cities are where the climate battle will largely be won or lost,”said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “At September’s Climate Action Summit at the United Nations, at least 70 countries and 100 cities agreed to enhance their national plans by 2020 – we must build on this momentum. Cities are at the heart of this race, and I congratulate the C40 on its leadership at this critical moment.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Representative for New York's 14th Congressional District, said “I am inspired by this coalition and the commitments made for a global Green New Deal. If we work to join forces globally, we will be able to defeat our greatest threat and realize our greatest opportunity.”

New figures released ahead of the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen reveal that 30 cities have now peaked their emissions and are making rapid progress to bring them down to net-zero. More than 100 cities around the world are now committed to deliver climate action plans consistent with the 1.5°C global heating target. 

The defining principles of the Global Green New Deal include:

  1. We recognise the global climate emergency. 
  1. We are committed to keeping global heating below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement by curbing emissions in the sectors that are the greatest contributors to the climate crisis: transportation, buildings, and waste.C40 cities are already cutting emissions at a rate consistent with the limits determined by science – which means peaking emissions by 2020, and halving them by 2030. Every business, individual, investor, partner, informal settlement representative and nation that forms part of Global Green New Deal will commit to similar science based targets.
  1. We are committed to putting inclusive climate action at the center of all urban decision-making, to create thriving and equitable communities for everyone.

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Our commitment includes protecting livelihoods, helping end poverty, improving lives, building more equitable societies and securing a just transition for those working in high-carbon industries. Climate delay is already having devastating consequences with the impact being felt most severely by those least responsible for the emissions causing the climate emergency. We will drive an urgent, fundamental and irreversible transfer of global resources away from fossil fuels and into action that averts the climate emergency, thereby building a green and fair ecological civilisation.

  1. We invite our partners – political leaders, CEOs, trade unions, investors, and civil society – to join us in recognising the global climate emergency and help us deliver on science-based action to overcome it. 

Business, governments, investors, labour, civil society, citizens, and communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and poverty will form the coalition necessary to tackle the climate crisis. We will work particularly closely with young people in our cities to help shape the sustainable future they want, providing a route from making their voice heard on the streets into shaping policies and projects in city government.

Connie Hedegaard, Former European Commissioner for Climate, said: 

“The cities are closest to the citizens when it comes to delivering climate solutions - and showing  that although the transition is challenging, we have a huge opportunity for creating a smarter kind of growth, a way of living that people want to be part of. If we were better at learning from each other, we could get to the scaled solutions we need faster. That is what C40 is all about.”

Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business, said: "The science is clear, climate action must be at the heart of any strategic plan for creating good jobs and prosperous healthy communities. Not acting on climate is not an option, businesses and whole economies are already feeling the impacts, and those who are retooling for a zero carbon future now are the ones who will be best poised to be the economic engines and employers of the future - cities and governments who do the same will be where they choose to locate."