Chatham House Associate Fellow and chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Karim Elgendy explores the role of buildings in the race to net zero cities.
1,000 cities racing to zero emissions1,000 cities will be recruited to participate in a global movement to address climate emergency
Today, C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) and CDP announced a campaign to recruit as many as 1,000 cities around the world to deliver inclusive climate action, consistent with constraining global temperature rise to 1.5°C set out in the Paris Agreement, and initiate a green and just recovery from COVID-19.
C40 Cities, GCoM and CDP announced a new partnership to mobilize 1,000 cities around the world to join the Race to Zero in time for the 2021 UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP26) – in collaboration with the Science-Based Target for Cities partners.
Mayor of Los Angeles and C40 Chair, Eric Garcetti called on his fellow city leaders to join this global movement to address the climate crisis and deliver a green and just recovery from COVID-19 ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. The initiative was launched at a high-level virtual event on the opening day of the Race to Zero Dialogues “The Race to Zero Coalition: From COVID-19 to COP26” presented by C40, America’s Pledge and ITUC
Mayors and council leaders from cities of any size and location, signing up to the Race to Zero campaign will:
- Publicly endorse the following principles (first developed and endorsed by C40 mayors in October 2019):
- We recognise the global climate emergency;
- We are committed to keeping global heating below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement;
- We are committed to putting inclusive climate action at the centre of all urban decision-making, to create thriving and equitable communities for everyone;
- 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.
- Adopt a science-based emission reduction target consistent with constraining global temperature rise to 1.5°C, including a fair share of a 50% global reduction in emissions by 2030 and reaching zero carbon by 2050; and
- Plan and immediately begin implementing specific inclusive climate policies in sectors such as buildings, transport, waste, clean energy, food and nature.
“Mayors stand on the front lines of complex and challenging crises every single day — and we know what it will take to secure a zero-carbon future and chart a path towards sustainability, equity, and good jobs in our cities,” said C40 Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Building a global movement of local governments and a coalition of determined leaders will be a force multiplier on the road to realizing the promise of the Paris Agreement, building a green and just recovery from COVID-19, and preparing for a fruitful and productive summit in Glasgow next year, and delivering our vision for a Global Green New Deal.”
“Cities continue to be vital leaders on the frontlines of the fight against climate change,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP and 108th Mayor of New York City. “It’s critically important that countries meet their climate targets – and go beyond them, as the effects of the crisis are only worsening. The more that national leaders empower cities, states, and businesses, and strengthen their own contributions toward reducing emissions, the more success we will have. We can win the Race to Zero – but only if we accelerate our climate progress, together.”
“Many cities are already taking the lead in driving growing international momentum for climate action,” said European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Co-Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors. “In response to COVID-19, thousands of mayors are likewise demonstrating incredible ambition in shaping a green recovery for their cities. We call on cities to join the Global Covenant of Mayors and the Race to Zero campaign to do even more. We need a global recovery that leads to climate neutrality; the future demands it.”
“As cities face more frequent, costly, and severe climate change-induced weather disasters, mayors are in make-or-break moment to preserve our people and planet,” said Anna Reynolds, Lord Mayor of Hobart. “The only way to prepare cities for the realities of climate change and ensure the survival of our most vulnerable and under-resourced populations is to set a clear, carbon neutral path forward. We need a global green recovery – one that empowers city mayors across the world to create greener, healthier, and fairer communities.”
This article was originally published by C40.
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