Cities, Businesses and Urban Citizens Can Save the Planet from Climate Change

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Cities, businesses and urban citizens are today looking to the most comprehensive roadmap available on how they can deliver their part of the Paris Agreement and prevent catastrophic climate change. According to research by C40 Cities, a network of 91 of the world’s great cities committed to action on climate change, action in the next four years will determine if it is possible to achieve the vital goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Deadline 2020: How Cities Will Get the Job Done, reveals that the world’s megacities must act to peak emissions by 2020 and then nearly halve carbon emissions for every citizen in a decade, from an average of 5 tons CO2e per capita today to 3 tons CO2e per capita by 2030. If all cities of 100,000 people or more act on the recommendations in the report, the world will achieve 40% of the emissions reductions necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Fortunately, mayors, CEOs and citizens are working together as never before to drive climate action, slash greenhouse gas emissions, tackle toxic air pollution and create sustainable, equitable and prosperous cities for future generations. This is particularly true of US cities. The 12 US cities that are members of the C40 network have already taken nearly 2,400 individual actions to respond to climate change in the past decade. From retrofitting buildings in New York City to make them more energy efficient, to the rollout of thousands of LED streetlights in Los Angeles, US cities are getting the job done.

If all US cities follow the lead shown by these C40 cities and pursue deep, rapid emissions reductions, by 2025 cities would contribute more than 1/3 of the emissions reductions needed to meet the United States' commitments to the Paris Agreement.

“No matter the White House decision, cities are honouring their responsibilities to implement the Paris Agreement,” said Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, Anne Hidalgo. “There is no alternative for the future of our planet."

About the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

C40 Cities connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 650+ million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens. The current chair of the C40 is Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania.


“No matter what decision is made by the White House, cities are honouring their responsibilities to implement the Paris Agreement. There is no alternative for the future of our planet."
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and C40 Chair

“Cities are at the forefront of fighting climate change, building cleaner, healthier and more resilient communities. Vancouver has the fastest growing, most diverse economy in Canada, and at the same time we’re successfully cutting our climate pollution. We’re attracting world-leading businesses and top talent thanks in part to our focus on building a 100% renewably-powered future. I stand in solidarity with U.S. Mayors as they continue working to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, regardless of the reckless actions against climate at the federal level.”
Gregor Robertson. Mayor of Vancouver

"Tackling climate change is a challenge that unite all citizens of the world. Our commitment will not diminish, whatever decision the White House may take. Milano shall continue to work according to the Paris Agreement. Let us move ahead in closer cooperation”.
Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan

This summer broke countless heat records in Sydney, we’ve seen coral bleaching in the harbour and the clock is ticking on climate change. We want governments working with our cities, supporting us, having policies of their own – but if not, we need them to get out of the way and let us do what has to be done.
Clover Moore,  Lord Mayor of Sydney

“As a Mayor I stand firm by my commitment to the citizens of Stockholm and to future generations – to make Stockholm a fossil fuel free city by 2040. The Paris agreement is an historic milestone showing political bravery based on years of solid research, wisdom and evidence. I am proud to join hands with Mayors and decision-makers all over the world, in all continents, to continue the fight against climate change no matter what. “
Karin Wanngård,Mayor of Stockholm

"Austin will not stop fighting climate change. Worldwide, cities will lead in achieving climate treaty goals because so much of what’s required happens at the local level. Regardless of what happens around us, we're still Austin, Texas.”
Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin, Texas

"We will continue to work together as Mayors from around the world to save our planet for future generations. We pledge our solidarity and stand with our American Mayors, regardless of whether they are democrats or republican and we will continue working with them to save the planet.”
Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town


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