Changing Planet

Michael R. Bloomberg on the Century of Cities

In the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, C40 Board President and UN Special Envoy for Cities & Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg writes about how cities are catalyzing sustainable economic growth and spurring solutions across the globe.

“By concentrating the brainpower of humanity in relatively small geographic areas, cities have promoted the kinds of interactions that nurture creativity and technological advances. They have been the drivers of progress throughout history, and now—as the knowledge economy takes full flight—they are poised to play a leading role in addressing the challenges of the twenty-first century.”

Further, the 108th mayor of New York City explains how cities boast a flexibility that fosters innovation and ingenuity, boldly driving global shifts in thinking around our urban infrastructure and systems. C40’s focus on knowledge-sharing and collaboration is a major part of this.

“Urban leadership on climate change has also led to an unprecedented level of cooperation among cities. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, for which I serve as president of the board, has brought together more than 75 cities committed to sharing best practices and spreading proven solutions. The evidence is clear that this networking strategy is working, as many carbon-reduction projects have spread to cities across the globe…”

“Cities are also working together through the Compact of Mayors, an initiative developed by C40 and other city networks to help cities demonstrate measurable progress toward reducing greenhouse gases and hold themselves accountable for their results. It also gives national governments more reason to set ambitious environmental goals and to empower cities to lead the way in reaching them.”

Though climate change remains one of the defining issues of this generation, the actions cities are taking to combat it generate significant benefits across economies and throughout communities.

“No longer do mayors see the economy and the environment primarily as conflicting priorities. Instead, they view them as two sides of the same coin. That is why mayors have so enthusiastically embraced the challenge of tackling climate change as a means to economic growth, and they have many tools at their disposal for doing so.”

To read the full article, click here.

For more news about Bloomberg, click here.

For more information about cities and climate change, visit the C40 blog and follow @c40cities on Twitter.

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. Recognizing that cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, our organization’s global field staff works with city governments, supported by our technical experts across a range of program areas to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in large cities across the world. The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, and 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg is President of the Board. The Steering Committee includes: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Tokyo.

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