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World mayors stand together for the Paris Agreement, and light their cities green
C40 mayors released statements condemning Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, and showed their commitment by shining green lights on key buildings.
Here’s a selection of official statements released by C40 mayors from all over the world speaking up against Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, and confirming their commitment to defending the accord and continuing to fight climate change.
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40 Cities
“Climate change is real: it poses a unique threat to the future of our planet, and puts in peril the health, prosperity, security and the very survival of our children and grandchildren. The scientific evidence is undeniable and beyond doubt. 2016 was the hottest year globally since temperature records began and 16 of the planet’s 17 hottest years on record have occurred in the 21st century. The effects of climate disruption are already being felt in the great cities of the world, from hurricanes in New Orleans and New York, floods in Paris, Houston and Montreal, deadly heatwaves in Sydney, to toxic air pollution in Beijing, New Delhi and in all large cities.
This explains why more than 190 nations decided to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015. That incredible diplomatic achievement could not have been secured without the decisive role of the United States of America. That is why it is a dramatic mistake for President Trump to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.
As the C40 Chair, a network of ninety-one of the world’s major cities committed to tackling climate change, and as the Mayor of Paris, I urge the US Administration to reconsider their decision. The next four years will be crucial in determining if the worst effects of climate change can be avoided. American leadership on this urgent challenge is needed now more than ever.
Regardless of President Trump’s final decision, the great cities of the world, in particular the twelve American C40 cities, remain resolutely committed to doing what needs to be done to implement the Paris Agreement.
Not a single day goes by without C40 mayors on every continent making bold and pioneering choices, serving citizens of the future. We will be relentless. The evidence and urgency of the climate crisis as well as the economic potential in shifting towards a greener future, leaves us no alternative”.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
“Now more than ever world leaders must recognise the threat of climate change and join forces to protect public health, reduce toxic pollution and help sustain a greener planet. I remain committed to the Paris Agreement and working with other world cities on solutions to tackling emissions, harmful pollutants and safeguarding the environment. We can’t overlook the fact that climate change remains one the biggest environmental risks to humanity“.
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of Boston
“The City of Boston will not back down from the Paris Agreement. We will honour our responsibilities to our children and to our planet. And we will do what is right. That’s who we are in this city”.
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago
“Reneging on the Paris Agreement is shortsighted and doesn’t make climate change any less real. From reducing our energy use to expanding public transit, Chicago will not skirt our responsibility to act. Chicago will work with cities around the country to reduce our emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, and urge President Trump to keep our nation’s commitment as well”.
Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney
“What’s heartbreaking is the damage governments can do in a short time when they’re in power. But where national action falters, as we see in the USA tonight, we see more and more city governments stepping up to provide the leadership we urgently need.
This summer broke countless heat records in Sydney, we’ve seen coral bleaching in the harbour and the clock is ticking on climate change. We want governments working with our cities, supporting us, having policies of their own – but if not, we need them to get out of the way and let us do what has to be done.
I returned from a meeting of C40 city leaders in Mexico City last year with a renewed sense of the scale and urgency of the climate challenge – the next four years are crucial for any realistic chance of meeting the Paris Agreement. We have now delivered a city budget that takes tough decisions to reprioritise funding to increased climate action – including a net zero buildings competition, expanded programs in commercial offices, accommodation and entertainment, and apartments, and reductions in our own emissions”.
Miguel Ángel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City
“Climate Change is real and demands our immediate action, the Paris Agreement calls for joining forces to guarantee the future of the new generations. From #CDMX we will continue to firmly adhere to the agreement”.
Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan
“The decision taken by President Trump will not mark a setback in the fight of Milano against climate change.
We will honour our commitment. It is our duty to take all available measures to ensure a better quality of life for our citizens. Milano shall keep on working in the framework of the Paris Agreement”.
Karin Wanngård, Mayor of Stockholm
“As the Mayor of Stockholm, a city with healthy and prosperous economic growth and decreasing carbon emissions, I would like to express my strong support and solidarity with all US cities as you work to aggressively fight climate change and improve the health and well-being of your communities and your local economies. I will stand by your side as we, as Mayors, will continue the fight against climate change together”.
Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw
“The COP21 conference in Paris brought us an extremely important agreement on tackling climate change, combining joint efforts of the parties involved, including the world largest economies like the US and China, towards substantial reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. Unfortunately, the current US President Donald Trump has recently decided to withdraw his country from the Paris Agreement. We are shocked and saddened by this decision. Achieving goals of the Agreement is hardly feasible without active participation of the United States of America as a country producing more than 5 billion tonnes of CO2 per year, which makes up for over 14 per cent of world anthropogenic emissions.
Nonetheless, the President Trump’s decision will not weaken our joint determination to tackle climate change, which is a main challenge faced by the modern human civilization. We remain hopeful that both the international community and the US citizens themselves will voice together their displeasure with this decision, what will make the US President rethink and hopefully change it”.
Patricia de Lille, Mayor of Cape Town
“We will continue to work together as mayors from around the world to save our planet for future generations. We pledge our solidarity and stand with our American Mayors, regardless of whether they are Democrats or Republican and we will continue working with them to save the planet“.
Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, Mayor of Heidelberg and President of Energy Cities
“It is immeasurably disappointing and incomprehensible that the United States wishes to withdraw from this urgently required treaty. I deem it important that the United States, as one of the largest producers of climate-damaging emissions, should take responsibility for climate protection. As the president of the climate protection network “Energy cities”, I appeal to all responsible city and state officials to continue the fight against climate change. Trump’s reversal – just like President Bush’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Treaty – will be a setback for international efforts in climate protection. It is important that all nations, and especially the US, continue to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as efficient and low-carbon car technologies, if we want to stop worldwide droughts, floods, mass migration, increasing storms and climate change”.
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Norwegian oil giant Equinor had pulled out of drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight, one of the country’s most uncontaminated areas. A victory for activists and surfers who are now campaigning for the area to be protected forever.
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Ocean warming has risen to record highs over the last five years: just in 2019 the heat released into the world’s oceans was equivalent to that of 5-6 atomic bombs per second. The culprit, no doubt, is climate change.
The 26th edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, will be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2020. The pre-COP will take place in Milan, Italy.
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The COP25 ended two days late and with very few steps ahead made. Climate negotiations in 2020 will be an uphill battle as political will clearly seems to be lacking, once again.