Mayors of 52 of the world’s largest cities, representing more than 275 million citizens, have called upon G20 leaders to address climate change at the upcoming G20 Summit.
In a joint statement, members of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group — a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change —urged the G20 to work with cities towards a more sustainable future. They warned, “given the US intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the resolve of the other 19 leaders at the upcoming G20 summit to safeguard the future of our planet is more important than ever.”
According to the leaders, urgent reforms and investment are needed in the areas of energy, transport, food and waste in order to deliver on the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. They stress that progress towards these goals must be underway by 2020, which former United Nations Climate Change Chief Christiana Figueres has identified as the deadline to mitigate dangerous climate change.
Beyond reducing emissions and environmental impacts, the C40 members argue that action taken towards the Paris commitments could unlock new opportunities for cities. Research from the New Climate Economy has revealed that creating compact and connected cities, built around mass public transport could save more than $3 trillion in infrastructure investments over the next 15 years. Driving investment in low carbon economies is also expected to create jobs and improve public health.
The statement coincides with the launch of a new #SaveOurPlanet ad campaign, which is being displayed on billboards across Paris, Warsaw, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Mexico City. Additionally, a petition been created on Change.org urging the G20 to take action on climate change and has already obtained over 40,000 signatures from people across the globe.
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, has also released a video statement, which will be shown at the G20 Summit, bring the voices of cities and their citizens directly to the G20:
“We, mayors of the world’s largest cities, urge G20 leaders to act now for the planet and deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement. This requires a bold action: urgent reforms are needed in energy, transport, food and waste. That is why, with mayors from the most important cities of the world, we launched a petition on Change.org to send our message to the G20 leaders. Are you ready to save the planet?”