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Last week I joined leaders from 30 of the world’s major cities to call on G20 leaders to act faster in tackling climate change.

Before the G20 leaders met in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, the call was to put pressure on the major nations of the world to deliver on the promises of the Paris Agreement, agreed in December 2015 and signed by 180 countries.

The joint letter observes that global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020 in order to limit the global temperature increase to 1,5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – a key goal of the Paris Agreement.

The letter asserts that such progress represents ‘one of the greatest political, economic and practical challenges’ for leaders at every level, but reassures the G20 heads of state that they ‘have great allies in this task: we, the mayors of the megacities of the world’.I have reaffirmed my determination to act on climate change, across Cape Town and internationally, through influential climate organisations such as the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40).

We want our residents, 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.

Cities are the agents of change and have action plans to lead the way in the fight against climate change through practical projects. National governments must provide more funding to cities to implement the changes that are needed so that we can strengthen our efforts and achieve more ambitious climate agendas.

Cape Town is a member of C40 – a network of more than 85 megacities committed to tackling climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating resilient, healthy and low-carbon cities.

The letter to the G20 leaders can be viewed here:

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