Letter: Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, Lord Mayor of Sydney, Governor of Tokyo and Mayor of Cape Town. The next four years will be crucial in determining if the world can avoid the worst impacts of climate change. As America inaugurates a president who has cast doubt on global warming, European leaders are distracted by Brexit and the rise of populist movements and China adjusts to providing global leadership on climate change, it is now cities and businesses that are delivering the boldest ideas and most ambitious plans for a sustainable low-carbon future. As political and business leaders meet in Davos, the message from city halls and boardrooms is clear. The urgency of the climate crisis and the economic potential of shifting towards a greener future are too well established to be rolled back by forces of isolationism at a national level. To achieve the transformation needed will require $375bn of investment in sustainable infrastructure in cities, according to C40. Fortunately, our efforts to tackle climate change also present incredible opportunities. The projects that cut emissions, clean the air that we breathe and build low-carbon infrastructure will also improve public health, encourage social inclusion and create jobs. Through networks like C40 and We Mean Business, city leaders and businesses are examining the data and committing to serious, science-based targets to reduce emissions and cut their environmental impact. Cities are where the future happens first. It has been the same throughout history and it is true once again as we face the unprecedented threat of climate change. If we cannot rely on the leadership of nations in these crucial four years, then mayors, chief executives, scientists, entrepreneurs and citizens will bear the burden instead. The consequences of failure are too dire and the opportunities for us to succeed are simply too great.
FT 24th Jan 2017 read more »