Why Cities are leading on Global Climate Change

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Mayors and top officials from more than 45 cities joined global leaders for the fifth biennial C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) Mayor Summit, hosted for the first time on the African continent, by the City of Johannesburg.

In addition to releasing landmark research about the climate actions taken by cities, C40 added three African cities to its membership, launched a new programme providing on-the-ground support to cities, and made a strong statement to the global community about the role of cities in tackling climate change.

During the Summit, C40 released a landmark report, Climate Action in Megacities Volume 2.0 (CAM 2.0), developed in partnership with consultancy firm Arup. CAM2.0 provides compelling evidence that C40 cities are taking significant actions – such as implementing rigorous energy efficiency regulations for buildings, bus rapid transit lines, or flood risk mapping – to reduce carbon emissions and climate risks. The report builds upon research originally released at the 2011 C40 Mayors Summit in Sao Paulo.

“Mayors have the power and the will to confront climate change, and they are seizing every opportunity to take action,” said Michael Bloomberg, philanthropist, 108th Mayor of New York City and President of the C40 Board. “C40 cities are doing more than ever to reduce emissions and become resilient – that’s why we are increasingly looked to for leadership by the international community. In my new role as UN Special Envoy on Cities and Climate Change, I am looking forward to working with C40 cities, and other cities around the world, to build on our progress”. 

Mayor Paes announced developments demonstrating the momentum of C40 as one of the preeminent climate action in the world. The global network welcomed three African cities, Cape Town, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, bringing the total representation of the continent to seven members and total C40 membership to 66.

“Although the African continent faces disproportionate impacts from climate change, we are no less dedicated to contributing to solutions,” said C40 Summit host, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau. “African cities are growing at tremendous rate as mayors; it is our duty to ensure the long-term sustainability of our communities. That’s why African mayors are stepping up to join the C40”.

“As a global mayor, and one whose city will forever be linked to the global sustainable development agenda, I cannot stress enough the fact that without an urban goal the Sustainable Development Goals will be incomplete,” said Mayor Paes.


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