02 June 2011
Letter from C40 Sao Paulo Summit to Rio + 20, United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Statement of C40 Steering Committee on the role of cities in tackling climate change
C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40)
The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is an organization of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate policies and actions locally that will help address climate change globally. Cities are responsible for consuming two‐thirds of the world’s energy and generating over 70% of its greenhouse gas emissions. This concentration of population, emissions and local municipal oversight present a clear opportunity for impactful climate change policy. Cities are increasingly driving meaningful action, while national governments and international bodies are unable to have a significant impact. As cities find solutions to climate change, they are also creating sustainable jobs in the green arena. As a result, city leadership on climate change actions is critical on both local and global scales.
The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Mayors Summit (C40 Summit)
The C40 holds a biannual mayoral summit that convenes member cities to discuss the implementation of new initiatives and opportunities for further collaboration. The summit allows cities to work together on implementing meaningful climate change solutions. This cooperative approach leverages the best practices and lessons learned by cities that are taking action. In addition to C40’s member cities, over 25 other invited cities have been in Sao Paulo from May 31st to June 3rd for the C40 Summit. This meeting comes at a critical time, because as national treaties and global protocols have struggled to align to generate meaningful change, cities continue to act.
Rio + 20 Conference on Sustainable Development
The C40 Steering Committee has drafted this Communiqué in order to highlight for the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, the importance of urban strategies to adapt to climate change and mitigate the impact. The 2012 conference, which takes place in Rio de Janeiro - an active C40 city - represents an ideal opportunity to further drive the lessons from the C40 Summit and encourage the political commitment to sustainable urban development. There is a clear link between cities’ climate actions and the larger objectives of low-carbon economies, poverty eradication, and global environmental governance. The role of cities in this new institutional architecture, as defined by the UN, presents a key opportunity for collaboration. City action can serve as the catalyst for National Governments to further support climate change policies, creating a virtuous cycle.
During the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, we ask for the following considerations:
• Megacities must be recognized as having an increasingly important voice in the global climate and sustainable development debate;
• National governments and international treaties should empower the leadership of their cities, to have the authority to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote green industry development;
• Cities must be resourced to drive delivery on national and international targets, including:
o Opportunities via Multilateral Development Banks to finance measures for mitigation and adaptation to climate change and urban sustainable development;
o Development of an effective agenda with well-defined goals to support city action plans to combat climate change and promote urban green growth.
• C40 looks forward to future collaboration with the Rio+20 CSD organizers, including planning and delivering an official side-event to highlight the critical role that cities must play in the global climate protection conversation;
• C40 should be recognized as an official voice of the world’s megacities that are committed to real, measurable climate action.
Acknowledged and agreed to this 2nd day of June, 2011.