Oct 9, 2019

Mayors announce Global New Green Deal in Copenhagen

Kim Hart, author of Cities

Zero Hour founder Jamie Margolin, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo attend a press conference in Copenhagen in conjunction with the C40 Mayors Summit on Oct. 9. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Mayors from 94 cities committed to cutting emissions from the sectors that most contribute to climate change (transportation, buildings, industry and waste) to keep global temperatures below the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement.

The big picture: The Global New Green Deal was announced today at the C40 Mayors Summit in Copenhagen. Despite the U.S. government pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, cities have committed to meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals.

"As mayors, our primary responsibility is to protect the lives and livelihoods of our citizens. Climate change now represents the greatest threat to their security, public health and prosperity," said Frank Jensen, lord mayor of Copenhagen, in a press conference.

  • He added that Copenhagen wants to be the first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025, and carbon emissions are down 40% since 2005.

What's next: Cutting global emissions in half by 2030 is necessary to void the worst impacts of the climate crisis, experts say. That means setting strict building codes, replacing fossil fuel energy sources with clean alternatives and dramatically reducing waste.

  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said we are entering a "make-or-break decade."
  • "Far from being in conflict, working on the ecology and economy go hand in hand. These two things are inextricably linked. In fact, we can build a more sustainable city at the same time we protect workers and create new careers," Garcetti said.

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