Three of Canada’s largest cities and members of the C40 are calling on the G20 heads of state to deliver on commitments to address climate change. They say because the US has signaled its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, it’s even more important the remaining nations stick to their resolve to take climate action.
“We are inspired by the courage of more than 300 Climate Mayors from cities across the United States who have committed in the past weeks to adopt, honor and uphold the Paris Agreement. Hundreds of US cities, universities, and businesses have declared “We Are Still In” and committed to pursue ambitious climate goals, and to ensure that the US remains a global leader in reducing emissions,” states a declaration from the C40.
It notes that hundreds of American cities, universities and businesses have committed to pursue ambitious climate goals to ensure the US remains a global leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This group is now working towards the creation of America’s Pledge to ensure the US meets is Paris commitments.
Urgent action is needed, the C40 says, in areas of energy, transportation, food and waste to meet the Paris commitments. Research conducted by the organization indicated that major progress on these areas needs to be underway by 2020, a time which global GHGs have to peak.
Below is a portion of the C40 statement:
In our cities, we are already implementing the policies and projects needed to deliver on the ambition of the Paris Agreement. As mayors, we are committing to bold emission reductions plans, tackling air pollution and investing in sustainable infrastructure that makes our cities resilient to the effects of climate change. We are taking these measures because creating smart cities offers unprecedented opportunities. Research by New Climate Economy revealed that creating compact and connected cities, built around mass public transport would save more than $3 trillion in infrastructure investments over the next 15 years. These cities will also be more economically dynamic, healthier, equitable and have lower emissions.
We must all work together to save the planet. As cities roll out fleets of electric busses and our citizens choose to leave their polluting cars for electric vehicles, nations must speed up the process of ensuring 100% of electricity is produced from renewable sources. As mayors and businesses bring forward plans for sustainable infrastructure in our cities, national governments should ensure that financing is available for cities from international climate funds and development banks. As autonomous vehicles arrive in our cities, we must work together to create a regulatory system that ensures this shift will help cut emissions rather than add to them.
You have the privilege of leadership at a unique moment in history to help realize the potential of the Paris Agreement. The cities of the world and their citizens have a shared vision for a just and sustainable future – one that will make our communities cleaner, healthier, happier and more prosperous. Together with business leaders we have already decided on a climate-safe future of opportunity, optimism and innovation -- there is no alternative.
As C40 mayors we will continue to lead on climate action in the most important cities of the world, standing for our people, the planet and global prosperity. Today, we seek to strengthen a pragmatic and positive alliance with you, in the service of our citizens. We look forward to working with you. Don’t miss this opportunity to deliver new hope for tomorrow.