Sadiq Khan and leaders of world’s megacities unite to demand climate change action

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan has joined forces with leaders of the world’s biggest cities to demand governments take urgent action against climate change.

Leaders from 30 cities including Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, New York, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro called on national leaders to work with them to “build a low carbon, climate safe world”.

It comes as Theresa May prepares for the G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China, next week, in which the world’s leading nations will discuss climate change.

In an open letter, the mayors welcomed government moves to secure the Paris Agreement, the first comprehensive global deal to tackle climate change, in December 2015.

But they warned “this is only the first step along the road towards our low carbon, climate safe future”.

They said: “To limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020.

“Achieving such a rapid shift is probably one of the greatest political, economic and practical challenges faced by every national leader, but you do have great allies in this task: we, the mayors of the megacities of the world.”

They added that they were already dealing with the consequences of climate change in their cities, battling floods to heatwaves.

But city leaders were also taking action such as banning the most polluting cars, rolling out fleets of electric buses and improving energy efficiency, which also had benefits for health, well-being and economic growth, they said.

“For the major cities of the world it is already clear that the faster we move to a low carbon economy, the greater will be the improvement in urban citizens’ standards of living, and the stronger and more sustained will be the economic development that makes that possible.”

The leaders have committed to setting out concrete plans for how they will deliver the greenhouse gas cuts in their cities needed to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to avoid dangerous climate change.

“We want our citizens, markets and other political leaders to know that we are serious about making the Paris Agreement a reality. We call on the heads of states from our respective nation states to do the same,” they said.

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