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C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

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C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40)
Founded October, 2005
(London, United Kingdom)
Type International organization
Focus Climate change
Area served
Participating member cities
Method Direct assistance, peer-to-peer exchange, research & communications[1]
Key people
Mayor Eduardo Paes (Chairman)
Michael Bloomberg (President of the Board of Directors)
President Bill Clinton (Founding Partner)
Mark Watts (Executive Director)
Mission C40 is committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally.

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of the world's megacities taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.[2] C40 harnesses the assets of member cities to address climate risks and impacts locally and globally.[2]

C40 is composed of 78 member cities around the world.[3] On November 26, the former C40 Chair, the 108th Mayor of [4] Along with the Chair, a rotating steering committee of C40 mayors provides strategic direction and governance.[1] Current steering committee members include: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Houston, Jakarta, London, Berlin, Seoul, Los Angeles, Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro.[5] With a focus on collaboration among member cities to excel climate actions,[6] C40 has established sixteen networks across seven initiative areas with a global staff to support collaborative problem solving, promote the exchange of programs and policies developed by cities, and facilitate targeted peer-to-peer dialogue among city staff.[7]

Through these efforts, C40 aims to demonstrate that cities are significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and hopes to provide proven models that other cities and national governments can adopt.[8] In the words of C40 President Michael Bloomberg: "While international negotiations continue to make incremental progress, C40 Cities are forging ahead. Collectively they have taken more than 5,000 actions to tackle climate change, and the will to do more is stronger than ever. As innovators and practitioners, our cities are at the forefront of this issue – arguably the greatest challenge of our time."[9]


The organization started in October 2005 when the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, convened representatives from 18 megacities to pursue action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.[10] The meeting resulted in an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking action on a number of points, most notably procurement policies and alliances to accelerate the uptake of climate-friendly technologies.[10] This agreement began what later became known as the C40 Climate Leadership Group.

In 2006, Mayor Livingstone and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI)—led by the efforts of former U.S. President [7]

Serving as C40’s first Chair, Mayor Livingstone established the C40 Secretariat in London, set up the C40 Steering Committee, and initiated the use of C40 workshops to exchange best practices amongst participating cities.[10] In 2008, former Mayor of Toronto David Miller took over as C40 Chair. Highlights of his tenure included the Copenhagen Climate Summit for Mayors and the C40 Cities Mayors Summit in Seoul, both in 2009, as well as the launch of practical action initiatives for cities, such as the C40-CCI Climate Positive Development Program and the Carbon Finance Capacity Building program.[10]

The tenure of current C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, began in December 2013, following the 2010-2013 Chairmanship of the Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg.[10] Key milestones in 2011 include the full integration of the CCI Cities Program into the C40, the C40 Cities Mayors Summit in Sao Paulo, the release of two reports developed in collaboration with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Arup Group Limited, and the announcement of two new partnerships with the World Bank and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI).[10] Key milestones in 2012 include the first-ever cataloging of mayoral/municipal authority over various city assets,[7] the release of a draft edition of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions to harmonize emissions measurement and reporting across cities, strengthening C40’s partnership with the World Bank to better enable cities in developing parts of the world to drive local climate action,[11] and C40’s announcement at the global Rio+20 climate summit that C40 Cities’ existing actions will reduce global annual GHG emissions by 248 million tonnes in 2020, with the potential to reduce over 1 billion tonnes by 2030.[11] Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, C40 has grown to include 63 cities.

In 2014 C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes oversaw the addition of seven new member cities, several groundbreaking research reports, successful international events, and thriving global partnerships – all of which are helping cities make real contributions to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.

In February, at the C40 Mayoral Summit membership was expanded to include three new African cities: Cape Town, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.[12] Later in the year, we also welcomed Boston,[13] Chinese cities Shenzhen[14] and Wuhan,[15] and most recently Tshwane[16] in South Africa, bringing their total membership to 70 megacities.[3]

To better support and advance C40 Cities goals, three new networks were launched, including District Energy,[17] Municipal Building Efficiency[17] and Transit Oriented Development Networks.[18]

2014 also saw the release of substantial Research publications, including the Climate Action in Megacities 2.0 Report, the second installment of C40's seminal research series that catalogues and analyzes climate action in C40 cities;[8] The Compact of Mayors - the largest cooperative effort among cities to accelerate local climate action. New research by the parties to the Compact, in partnership with Arup, showed that 228 cities worldwide already have plans in place to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions;[19] Additional research from C40 in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Stockholm Environment Institute further showed that cities have a huge potential to contribute to additional reductions beyond what nations have already counted;[6] Finally in December, C40 and partners formally released the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC), the first global standard for cities to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions, allowing cities to track their own progress, as well as contribute accurate data to national emissions inventories and goals.[20]

In March 2015 C40 further expanded their membership to 75 megacities, bringing Amman, Jaipur, Durban, Quito and Salvador on board.[21]

In August 205 C40 extended a warm welcome to newest member cities Bengaluru, Dubai, and Quezon City, which together represent more than 22 million urban citizens. [22]

C40 cities

C40 has 78 participating member cities across seven geographic regions.[3]


Innovator cities:

Observer cities:


While C40 originally targeted megacities for their greater capacity to address climate change, C40 now offers three types of membership categories to reflect the diversity of cities taking action to address climate change. The categories consider such characteristics as population size, economic output, environmental leadership, and the length of a city’s membership.[23]

1. Megacities

  • Population: City population of 3 million or more, and/or metropolitan area population of 10 million or more, either currently or projected for 2025. OR
  • GDP: One of the top 25 global cities, ranked by current GDP output, at purchasing-power parity (PPP), either currently or projected for 2025.

2. Innovator Cities

  • Cities that do not qualify as Megacities but have shown clear leadership in environmental and climate change work.
  • An Innovator City must be internationally recognized for barrier-breaking climate work, a leader in the field of environmental sustainability, and a regionally recognized “anchor city” for the relevant metropolitan area.

3. Observer Cities

  • A short-term category for new cities applying to join the C40 for the first time; all cities applying for Megacity or Innovator membership will initially be admitted as Observers until they meet C40’s year-one participation requirements, for up to one year.
  • A longer-term category for cities that meet Megacity or Innovator City guidelines and participation requirements, but for local regulatory or procedural reasons, are unable to approve participation as a Megacity or Innovator City expeditiously.

Megacities make up the core of C40’s membership, with the majority of cities currently in this category across developed and developing regions. As such, megacities retain sole access to C40 leadership and governance opportunities, such as serving as C40 Chair, as members of the C40 Steering Committee and the C40 Board.[23]

C40 Global Initiatives

A C40 Network is an active working group of C40 Cities with commonly identified opportunities, interests or priorities. Networks are supported by C40 staff to facilitate knowledge transfer and peer-to-peer exchange, as well as to provide direct support to cities developing local policies, programmes or projects in the network’s area of focus; this direct support is provided either by C40’s own technical staff or through managed partnerships. Networks are designed to be dynamic and nimble, responding to the changing needs and priorities of participating cities. C40 has established a data-driven approach to identify and launch networks, ensuring that resources are strategically deployed by mapping city priorities to focus areas with the greatest potential GHG and climate risk impact.[24]

C40’s efforts are focused into seven overarching initiative areas and associated networks that allow for support and collaboration among and between C40 cities.[24]

Water and Adaptation Initiative

  • Climate Risk Assessment Network
  • Connecting Delta Cities Network
  • Cool Cities Network

Energy Initiative

  • District Energy Network
  • Municipal Building Efficiency Network
  • Private Building Efficiency Network

Finance and Economic Development Initiative

  • Green Growth Network
  • Sustainable Infrastructure Finance Network

Measurement and Planning Initiative

  • Global Standards Network
  • Measurement and Reporting Network

Solid Waste Management Initiative

  • Sustainable Solid Waste Systems Network
  • Waste to Resources Network

Sustainable Communities Initiative

  • Climate Positive Development Network
  • Sustainable Urban Development Network
  • C40 Transit Oriented Development Network

Transportation Initiative

  • Bus Rapid Transit Network
  • Low Emission Vehicle Network

Management team

  • Mark Watts - Executive Director[25]
  • Kevin Austin – Director of Initiatives, Regions and Events[26]
  • Seth Schultz - Director of Research, Management and Planning[26]
  • Marie Scott Poulsen - Director of Communications[26]
  • Andrea Fernandez - C40 Governance and Global Partnerships[26]
  • Clare Hammacott – Director of Finance and Operations[26]

See also


  1. ^ a b What We Do For Cities, accessed 2015-08-24
  2. ^ a b About C40, accessed 2015-08-24
  3. ^ a b c C40 Cities, accessed 2015-08-24
  4. ^ Rio Mayor Paes to succeed Mayor Bloomberg as C40 Chair, accessed 2015-08-24
  5. ^ C40 Steering Committee, accessed 2014-08-24
  6. ^ a b New Research: Cities Have the Potential to Help Close the Emissions Gap, accessed 2015-08-24
  7. ^ a b c Mike Marinello, The Guardian, 2013-02-12, Climate change action in megacities – C40 collaboration, accessed 2015-08-24
  8. ^ a b Infographic: C40 Cities Releases Landmark Research Revealing Expansion & Acceleration of Climate Actions in Megacities, accessed 2015-08-24
  9. ^ C40 Home, accessed 2015-08-24
  10. ^ a b c d e f History of the C40, accessed 2015-08-24
  11. ^ a b 2012 in Review: Cities Commit to (and are achieving) GHG Reductions, accessed 2015-08-24
  12. ^ C40 Mayors Summit Gains Momentum: C40 Makes Major Announcements on Expansion, Competition & Engagement, accessed 2015-08-24
  13. ^ Press Release: C40 Welcomes Boston to its Growing Network of International Cities Committed to Tackling Climate Change, accessed 2015-08-24
  14. ^ Shenzhen Joins C40 & Marks 2014 China National Low-Carbon Day, accessed 2015-08-24
  15. ^ Wuhan Joins C40 – Becomes Fifth Member City from China, accessed 2015-08-24
  16. ^ C40 Welcomes Tshwane as 70th Member City, accessed 2015-08-24
  17. ^ a b C40 Energy Initiative launches two new networks to reduce emissions from buildings, accessed 2015-08-24
  18. ^ C40 Teams Up with Ford Foundation on New ‘Compact & Connected’ Cities Network, accessed 2015-08-24
  19. ^ Working Together: Global Aggregation of City Climate Commitments, accessed 2015-08-24
  20. ^ First Global Standard Launched to Measure City Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Support Compact of Mayors, accessed 2015-08-24
  21. ^ C40 Membership Grows to 75 Global Cities, accessed 2015-08-24
  22. ^ Cities from India, Philippines, and United Arab Emirates Join C40’s Global Network, accessed 2015-08-24
  23. ^ a b Press Release: C40 Announces New Guidelines for Membership Categories, accessed 2015-08-24
  24. ^ a b C40 Networks, accessed 2015-08-24
  25. ^ C40 Announces New Leadership and Funding Milestones,
  26. ^ a b c d e C40 Our Team,

External links

  • C40 cities official web site
  • 1st World Cities Leadership Climate Change Summit, London, 2005
  • 2nd World Large Cities Climate Summit, New York, 2007
  • 3rd Large Cities Climate Summit, Seoul, 2009
  • New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg's 2007 Keynote Address.
  • Micro-Motives for State and Local Climate Change Initiatives, Harvard Law and Policy Review, Vol. 2, pp. 119–137, 2008
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