The mayors of Milan and Rome highlight the imperative for G20 countries to use recovery funding in a way that advances, not hinders, ambitious and equitable climate action ahead of COP26.
The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi and Milan, Giuseppe Sala, co-chairs of the Urban 20 (U20), which brings together mayors from major G20 cities to inform discussions of national leaders at the at the G20, have released a statement calling on the G20 to make Covid-19 recovery green, just and local.
The statement, which will be shared with the G20 Italian presidency, sets out a vision of how the recovery from Covid-19 should effectively tackle the climate emergency, reduce inequalities and support cities and local governments to achieve these goals.
Recalling the dual responsibility of G20 countries to address the Covid-19 pandemic while tackling the climate emergency, and that “the most significant test of any government’s commitment to climate action right now is where it is directing Covid-19 recovery funding”, they specifically call for G20 countries to ensure Covid-19 recovery plans are:
Green: make stimulus packages green by stopping financing all forms of fossil-fuels, investing in public transportation, creating more sustainable food systems, building cities with nature and keeping official development assistance (ODA) at 0.7 per cent of GDP.
Just: make recovery plans just by directing minimum 40 per cent of climate investments to underserved communities, increase women’s participation in the labour force, support essential workers and guarantee fair access to vaccines across nations.
Local: make the recovery local by basing it on local public service provision, directing stimulus packages to cities, and including at least 30 per cent of urban projects national recovery plans.
“Mayors in G20 countries have been on the frontlines responding to both the Covid-19 and the climate crises through the provision of public services”
In the statement, the mayors said: “In the year of COP26, it is necessary that the biggest public investment since the Marshall Plan is used in a forward-looking, strategic way that not only dramatically reduces GHG emissions, but also creates sustainable jobs and improves resilience and equity.
“Mayors in G20 countries have been on the frontlines responding to both the Covid-19 and the climate crises through the provision of public services, and have developed a visionary agenda to reduce GHG emissions, support jobs, increase resilience, and improve the wellbeing of all our citizens.”
“We call on the G20 to be visionary and determined.”
This statement comes as the Urban 20 officially kicks off its annual work with the U20 Sherpa meeting.
The U20 initiative is permanently convened by C40 Cities and United Cities and Local Governments, under the leadership of a chair city that rotates annually. Prior U20 cycles were previously chaired by Buenos Aires and Paris (2018), Tokyo (2019) and Riyadh (2020).
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