Cities Get Boost to Address Climate Change in NYC, Clinton Merger

Former president Bill Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday announced the merger of their respective climate initiatives for cities.

Bloomberg serves as the Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), which will join with the Cities Program of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI).

The combination of these two organizations brings significant resources and infrastructure that will bolster both organizations and position the combined effort as one of the preeminent climate policy organizations in the world.

CCI’s Cities’ Programs include building retrofits, outdoor lighting, waste management, low carbon transportation, new urban developments, and greenhouse gas measurement and reporting.

At the invitation of city governments, CCI places city directors in participating C40 cities to help them deliver programs in close collaboration with its program teams and expert partners.

These resources allow CCI to provide C40 cities with pro bono support on project development, local relationships, and, importantly, the facilitation of knowledge-sharing among cities.

President Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg said the decision to combine the two entities and expand the C40 was driven by the belief that cities are one of the greatest drivers of climate change action.

As a result the C40 will:

  • Expand the number of participating cities
  • Double the budget of the C40/CCI Cities
  • Restructure the organization so cities can share best practices and tackle issues collectively

While cities only occupy 2% of the Earth’s land mass, they contain over 50% of its population, use two-thirds of its energy and generate over 70% of its carbon emissions.

Many leading climate experts and advocates agree that cities are strongly positioned to generate real change and with global protocols and treaties unable to impact significant reforms, C40 has the opportunity to lead, organize and share successes on a local level that can have a meaningful global impact. 

Bloomberg also announced that the fourth biennial C40 Summit will take place in Sao Paulo from May 31 to June 2, bringing together Mayors from leading cities around the world. Both President Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg will attend the summit and give keynote addresses.

Bloomberg recently outlined five goals for the C40, which include:

  • Creating a robust and professional organization
  • Building and maintaining participation and accountability of all the member cities
  • Focusing program efforts on networks of cities
  • Providing direct support to C40 cities
  • Achieving visibility, driving thought leadership, and communicating evidence

These actions are intended to further optimize the organization such that it can help accelerate policy adoption to counter climate change.

C40 participating cities include Addis Ababa, Athens, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Caracas, Chicago, Delhi NCT, Dhaka, Hanoi, Houston, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Karachi, Lagos, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Warsaw. C40 affiliate cities include Amsterdam, Austin, Barcelona, Basel, Changwon, Copenhagen, Curitiba, Heidelberg, Ho Chi Minh City, Milan, New Orleans, Portland, Rotterdam, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Stockholm, and Yokohoma.

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