34 global leaders sign U20 Communique to advance sustainable development
- At the Urban 20 (U20) Mayors Summit this week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, mayors and leaders from 34 cities around the globe signed the U20 Communique to work toward a "collective goal of fair, inclusive, and sustainable development."
- The Communique delivers recommendations on climate change, the future of work, social integration, women empowerment and access to finance, according to a statement. Signatories included the leaders of Amsterdam, Chicago, Dallas, Helsinki, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Paris, Rome and Sydney, among many others.
- "Cities are where the future happens first. Citizens are working with city leaders to create the future that we want, and now is the moment for G20 leaders to listen to their voices," said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, in a statement.
The first-ever U20 Mayors Summit — which hosted the major cities of G20 nations — prefaces the upcoming G20 Summit later this year in Buenos Aires. While the G20 Summit will address issues on a national level, there has been a growing trend of local-level governance trailblazing the way for climate and social mitigation. The U20 Mayor Summit and supporting communique is likely to have a greater impact on city-level efforts.
The recommendations echo goals that have been urged by other groups both in the U.S. and globally, including the implementation of the Paris Agreement to keep global atmospheric temperatures from rising above 1.5°C, and efforts to move away from fossil fuels toward clean energy.
The World Health Organization released a report this week that found 93% of the world's population under the age of 15 is breathing air so polluted it puts development at risk; and Curbed reports that Hidalgo, along with the mayors of Copenhagen, Denmark; Seoul, South Korea; and Medellín, Colombia, are calling on car manufacturers to stop producing gas- and diesel-fueled cars.
The recommendations also put an equally important focus on improving educational access for women and girls, and on supporting the social integration of migrants and refugees. While these types of issues are not as widely talked about in a "smart city" context as climate and sustainability are, they are crucial for ensuring inclusivity and equity, which are in-turn key for a more livable and prosperous city.
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