Tuesday is Mayor Eric Garcetti’s last day as chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of 97 mayors working together to address the climate crisis and reduce emissions.
“On my last day as chair of @C40Cities, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to be at the helm of the world’s most effective climate leadership organization,” Garcetti said on Twitter on Tuesday. “It has been an honor of a lifetime, and I’m proud to welcome (London Mayor Sadiq Khan) as the new C40 Chair.”
C40 Cities was founded in 2005, with Garcetti becoming chair in 2019. Its mission is to halve the amount of emissions produced by member cities within a decade.
“During his tenure as Chair of C40, Mayor Eric Garcetti raised the bar for equitable climate action, for C40 cities, and for all of us,” C40 Cities said on Twitter on Tuesday.
In speaking about the group’s accomplishments at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 1, Garcetti said that two-thirds of C40 Cities set and met targets that are equal to or exceed the targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.
The mayor also said then that more than 1,000 cities and local governments worldwide joined the coalition’s Cities Race to Zero campaign. The group represents a total of 722 million people around the world. It could reduce global emissions by more than the equivalent of the fifth-highest emitting country, Garcetti said.
In joining the campaign, the cities pledged a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and cutting their fair share of global emissions in half by 2030.
During Garcetti’s first year as chair, the group launched the “Global Green New Deal” at the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. The initiative gave cities a set of guidelines to adopt at home.
The principles included:
— recognizing the global climate emergency;
— committing to keeping global heating below the 1.5 degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement by curbing emissions in the transportation, buildings and waste sectors;
— putting inclusive climate action at the center or all urban decision-making;
— and inviting partners to join in on recognizing the global climate emergency.
On Tuesday, Garcetti reflected on a mayor’s role in the climate crisis, saying:
“As mayors, we’re responsible for protecting our residents, keeping the water flowing, the lights on, the trains running, and the air clear. Our cities represent over 25% of the world’s economic output — and when C40 members unite around a solution on emissions, a commitment on clean energy, or a promise for a Global Green New Deal, we set the standard for national governments to meet and expand the movement for a green and just future.”