Global mayors release Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery

By C40 cities | October 25, 2020

C40 Cities release a detailed agenda for delivering a sustainable and equitable recovery in the world’s cities. The C40 Mayors’ Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery is led by mayors and supported by business leaders, youth climate activists and trade unions.

Mayors outline bold steps to create green jobs; invest in fundamental public services; protect mass transit; support essential workers, and give public spaces back to people and nature.

Mayors call on national governments to support their vision with an end to fossil fuel subsidies to avert climate breakdown.

C40 Cities today released the C40 Mayors’ Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery outlining bold steps to deliver an equitable and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The agenda includes specific measures, already being delivered in many cities around the world, which must become the ‘new normal’ to contain and better prepare for future pandemics, address systemic injustices and keep global heating below the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

Amongst the measures championed by mayors today include green job creation programmes; increased rights and support for all workers whose efforts have proved essential during the COVID-19 crisis; investments in green industries such as guaranteed access to resilient public services, particularly for the most vulnerable; building retrofit programmes; investing in safe and reliable mass transit; and new protected spaces for pedestrians and cyclists.

Recognising that delivering an equitable, low carbon recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will require a global effort, C40 Cities and their allies have also called on national governments to support their efforts. C40 mayors call for commitments to “ensure that all economic recovery funds and stimulus packages support a fair and sustainable transition.” Calling for an end to all public investments in fossil fuels, C40 mayors are clear: “Nations must seize this moment to decisively move away from investments in high carbon and fossil fuel intensive industries and increase investments in a low carbon future.”

The mayors’ agenda makes clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has starkly exposed deep inequalities in cities and across cities in different regions of the world, including by disproportionately impacting Black people, Indigenous communities and people of colour, low-income communities, isolated elderly, and those living in informal settlements. Mayors commit to addressing these injustices, and call on national governments to ensure stimulus investment and recovery funds create more just and inclusive societies and communities, and directly address long-standing inequalities and ongoing discrimination based on race, gender and income.

This vision of a green and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis was immediately welcomed by leaders and activists around the world, including the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, representatives of business, trade unions, youth climate activists, economists, citizen groups, and many more. It is based on the principles of the Global Green New Deal announced by C40 Chair and Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen.

The mayors’ agenda was released by the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, established at the direction of C40 Chair and Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, and chaired by Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala. The Task Force was guided by a Statement of Principles, already endorsed by more than 40 city leaders from around the world.

In contrast to national governments and multilateral organisations, mayors have been collaborating throughout their response to the COVID-19 crisis. This unparalleled co-operation will form the basis of the just and green recovery in the world’s leading cities.

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