Climate emergency: City mayors are ‘world’s first responders’, says UN chief

World Bank/Franz Mahr Lima, the capital of Peru, a South American megacity. (file)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


City bosses are “the world’s first responders to the climate emergency” UN chief António Guterres declared on Friday, at an international mayors’ summit in Copenhagen.

In his opening remarks to the C40 World Mayors Summit – a forum for member cities to present innovative actions to slow global warming – the Secretary-General noted that cities, which contain more than half the world’s population, and have an “enormous climate footprint”, are “on the frontlines of sustainable and inclusive development”.

Urban citizens, he continued, look to mayors to make cities havens for diversity, social cohesion and job creation.

Reminding delegates of the existential threat to humanity posed by the climate emergency, and the need to dramatically boost climate action at all levels, Mr. Guterres said that, at the UN Climate Action Summit in September, some 70 countries, and around 100 cities, announced plans to enhance their national plans to cut harmful emissions by 2020.

However, some of the countries responsible for the biggest greenhouse gas emissions have not yet committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and, with business, cities and society moving faster than governments, the UN chief called on the urban leaders to continue putting pressure on national authorities to increase climate ambition.

Cities, emphasised the UN chief, are at the heart of the race to reduce emissions, and the consequences of growth without climate-conscious planning will be profound. Mr. Guterres welcomed efforts currently undertaken by C40 member cities, such as promoting healthier, more climate-friendly diets, and curbing air pollution.

The Secretary-General also highlighted the importance of a “just transition” to low carbon societies, where no one is left behind, to ensure that public opinion solidly supports the initiatives necessary for reaching carbon neutrality. This means implementing social policies that address the anxieties of those who could be detrimentally affected by climate action, such as those who work in the fossil fuel industry, and take their interests into account.

The two-day summit began on Thursday, with a commitment by 14 member cities to implementing sustainable food policies that will address the climate emergency. The mayors of these major cities pledged to work with their citizens to achieve a “Planetary Health Diet” for all, by 2030, with balanced and nutritious food, reflective of the culture, geography, and demography of their citizens.

Research commissioned by C40 in June 2019 shows that eating a sustainable diet and avoiding food waste could cut food-related greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60 per cent.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

Questions and Answers about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

8 things we need to do to tackle humanitarian crises in 2019

Why do overwhelming proportions of EU’s youth feel excluded?

Relieving the suffering of dying: Home Palliative Care as a spiritual coping strategy

The “Colombo Declaration” adopted at the World Conference on Youth 2014

These are the top risks for doing business around the world

I cycled over 6,000km across the United States to document climate change. Here’s what I learned

Strengthening the EU’s autonomy – Commission seeks input on a new anti-coercion instrument

Here’s how innovation could help car companies hit by COVID-19

How has technology changed – and changed us – in the past 20 years?

How Japan and Singapore are reinventing old age

Workplace bullies could now go to jail in South Korea

Warmongers ready to chew what is left of social protection spending

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

Declaring commitment to ‘peace and stability’ for Libya, top UN envoy steps down as stress takes its toll

November infringements package: key decisions

Why COVID-19 shows the future not the end of globalization

Fighting Terrorism Online: EU Internet Forum committed to an EU-wide Crisis Protocol

ICC Appeals Chamber acquits former Congolese Vice President Bemba from war crimes charges

Circular Plastics Alliance: 100+ signatories commit to use 10 million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025

Coronavirus: Commission proposes a Digital Green Certificate

Coronavirus update: COVID-19 likely to cost economy $1 trillion during 2020, says UN trade agency

Telemedicine: union when the rule is isolation

Dual food quality: Commission releases study on sensory differences in food products

How artificial intelligence is redefining the role of manager

Africa cannot afford to lose doctors to COVID-19

People talk less now than during the Cold War, says Merkel at Davos

COVID-19: latest on evaluation and authorisation of vaccines

Unequal burden: how the COVID-19 pandemic is adding to women’s workloads

4 ways to build resilience to digital risks in the COVID-19 era

Reforms in the Western Balkans and Turkey: annual assessments and recommendations

3 reasons why business leaders can’t afford to ignore diversity

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

Some endangered languages manage to thrive. Here’s how

A perfect storm is pushing children in sub-Saharan Africa into crisis

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

We have a chance to build the gender-equal workplaces of the future. Here’s how

5 ways to go green in your own kitchen

3 reasons why civil society is essential to COVID-19 recovery

Microplastics have spread right to the sea bed, study finds

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying ‘bleak’ state of civilian protection

These Dutch microgrid communities can supply 90% of their energy needs

EU-Turkey relations are at a historic low point, say MEPs

To Brexit or not to Brexit: British exceptionalism doesn’t allow any Obama telling Brits what to do

Medical Devices Regulation: Commission welcomes Council support to prioritise the fight against coronavirus

Kellen Europe Hosts EuroConference 2016

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

‘Vaccines are safe’ and save lives, UNICEF declares, launching new #VaccinesWork campaign

UN updates guidelines to ensure successful return to civilian life for former combatants

Regional competitiveness and growth: a Gordian knot for Europe

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

EU reconfirms support for Afghanistan at 2020 Geneva Conference

Across Europe, people are struggling to make ends meet. We need a common response immediately.

Help prevent children ‘from becoming victims in the first place’, implores Guterres at campaign launch

OECD Secretary-General: coronavirus “war” demands joint action

Why the 21st century’s biggest health challenge is our shared responsibility

MWC 2016 LIVE: Freemium MVNO model a success, claims FreedomPop head

Why we all need farmers to have access to better seeds

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s