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Mayors put forward a 'green and just' Covid-19 recovery plan

The C40 Cities network has announced its agenda for delivering a sustainable and equitable recovery plan from the pandemic and calls for support for the vision from national government.

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Global mayors have set out their vision for recovery from the pandemic
Global mayors have set out their vision for recovery from the pandemic

Mayors in the C40 Cities network, which is committed to addressing climate change in cities around the world, have announced their agenda for delivering a sustainable and equitable recovery plan from the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

As well as focusing on areas such as green jobs, public services and transportation, the mayors are calling on national governments to support their vision with an end to fossil fuel subsidies to avert climate breakdown.

 

Actions set out also includes creating “15 minute cities”, where all residents of the city are able to meet most of their needs within a short walk or bicycle ride from their homes.

 

Green recovery

 

The C40 Mayors’ Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery, led by mayors and supported by business leaders, youth climate activists and trade unions, outlines 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.

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.

Recognising that delivering an equitable, low carbon recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will require a global effort, C40 Cities and its 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.”

“Mayors see the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis as they are: global challenges that pose massive threats to our lives and livelihoods”

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.

 

C40 said the vision of a green and equitable recovery 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.

 

Recovery task force

 

The mayors’ agenda was released by the C40 Global Mayors Covid-19 Recovery Task Force, established at the direction of 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.

 

“Mayors see the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis as they are: global challenges that pose massive threats to our lives and livelihoods – and demand urgent action to correct structural inequities, improve public health, and create more inclusive economies,” said Garcetti. “The way we shape our recovery will define our cities for generations to come, and this C40 agenda will leverage the collective power that mayors wield to help protect our planet and lay the foundation for a more just and resilient future.”

“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”

Giuseppe Sala, mayor of Milan and chair of C40 Mayoral Task Force, said right at the outset of the pandemic, C40 Mayors felt the need to collaborate even more closely, to be able to rapidly learn from each other and take the most appropriate decisions to tackle the Covid-19 challenge.

 

He added: “The future of our cities is built on this collective strong vision for a Green and Just recovery. We present today the concrete actions we are taking and will continue to take for job creation and for the protection of our essential workers, for increased equity and resilience and for health and wellbeing of all our citizens.

 

“There is also a strong call to action to national governments and other institutions to move in that same direction. I am confident that the Green and Just Recovery agenda will be helpful for the individual action of all C40 mayors in their cities and regions.”

 

The agenda can be read in full here: Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery.

 

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