Media release on 9 October 2019: “Mayors of 94 climate leader cities recognise global climate emergency, joined by youth climate activists, representatives from labour, business and civil society.”
“The cities are taking over.” This was the new signal coming from the C40 Cities Summit in Copenhagen. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is the new chair of the global C40 initiative. In the United States, he has already managed to assemble 430 American cities to commit themselves to adhere to the Paris Agreement. This creates tremendous pressure from below, and in combination with the new movements such as the Green New Deal, the school strikes, the climate emergency declarations and the civil disobedience campaign by Extinction Rebellion, it could the change we need to see now.
Research shows that it is in the cities of the Western world where the more social oriented and environment-focused part of the population lives. These are the leaders in the climate action movement. They have the money, they have the production equipment and they have the political support. So they are able to take action. And now they have decided to do it together.
The collaboration between C40 Cities is making a significant difference in improving the scale and speed of climate action – with 30 per cent of all climate actions in C40 being delivered through city-to-city collaboration.
Remarkable speeches at the C40 World Mayors Summit 2019
• Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen
• Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen
• C40 chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
• American climate action campaigner Al Gore
• American Senator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
• C40 chair Eric Garcetti closing remark
Hours and hours of Facebook-live streaming cut down to just one hour, highlighting a few of those many encouraging and inspirational speeches we watched from the C40 Summit Copenhagen during this weekend. Have a listen if you have an hour in transport at some point – or watch the individual speeches on the Youtube-videos below.
The overall message was that since our national governments have failed us, now it will have to be up to the cities to get this job done – and these 94 of the world’s major cities seems pretty much fired up about doing just that. Which is encouraging to hear.
Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, was quoted in the C40 Summit media release as saying: “Following more than a decade of committed climate action, the City of Sydney declared a climate emergency in June. We are calling on our Federal Government to move urgently to reintroduce a price on carbon so we can meet the emissions reduction targets outlined in the Paris Agreement, and establish a Just Transition Authority to ensure Australians employed in fossil fuel industries find good jobs in a green economy.
Sydney is proud to support the Global Green New Deal announced today in Copenhagen and work with C40 Cities toward a future where all citizens can earn a living wage on a living planet. The impacts of the climate emergency will be felt by us all, but especially our most vulnerable, remote and marginalised communities, and those living in poverty. It is incumbent on all governments to rethink the way their economies work and offer greater social support while urgently acting to address the climate emergency.”