Mayors Call for More Stimulus Funds for Green Recovery

“By ignoring the opportunity to make rapid green stimulus investments, most national governments and global institutions are likely leading us to catastrophic climate change,” the statement says.

According to C40 Cities, only 3 – 5% of COVID stimulus funding is currently directed to sustainable recovery

The C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is “deeply concerned” that only 3% – 5% of an estimated US$12 – $15 trillion in international COVID stimulus is currently committed to green initiatives. By propping up old and polluting economies, the mayors warn in a statement released today that a ‘dirty recovery’ will accelerate the climate emergency, endanger public health, cost lives, and sacrifice jobs.

“The current situation forces us to be innovative and thus to seize the opportunity for a new economic paradigm that supports our economy, our local businesses and the wellbeing of our citizens.”

Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal, Canada

The new research from mayors makes clear that a green and just recovery would:

  • Create over 50 million good, sustainable jobs by 2025, across the nearly 100 cities in the C40 network and their supply chains. Over a third more than investing funds in a ‘high-carbon recovery’.
  • Save lives by reducing air pollution by almost 30% in cities around the world. Such improvements could prevent 270,000 premature deaths over the next decade in C40’s nearly 100 member cities and – as shown in existing research – make further coronavirus pandemics less likely by reducing habitat destruction.
  • Lead to over $1.4 billion savings in health costs for avoided hospital admissions on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases associated with poor air quality, and deliver wider economic benefits of over $280 billion over the next 10 years from premature deaths averted. This is particularly valuable at a time when health care systems and public sector budgets are facing unprecedented pressure. 
  • More than halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, getting on track to keep global heating below 1.5 degrees, unlike a return to business as usual in which GHG emissions would continue to rise.

C40 mayors also called on all those who share their vision for a green and just recovery to join their Global Green New Deal coalition of mayors, business leaders, trade unions, investors, youth activists, civil society and global citizens to create the future we want.

Our cities are in dire need of a direction towards a better future and the outcomes of the Mayoral Task Force work and its underlying research provide fellow mayors with a formidable set of tools to navigate the crisis and strengthen their inclusive climate action. I believe the results of the research on the benefits of a green stimulus – and the frightening costs of a lack of green stimulus – are compelling and influential.

Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan, Italy.

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