November 12, 2017 | News Article | 
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BONN, 12 November 2017: The Coalition for Urban Transitions launched its Urban Leadership Council in an announcement by C40 Executive Director Mark Watts at the high-level Climate Summit of Local and Regional Leaders at COP23 in Bonn, Germany. The Council draws from the world’s most prominent urban, development, and climate focused organizations, networks, and institutions to help unlock the full potential of cities to deliver on the climate, development and growth agendas.

Getting cities right can yield major dividends. For instance, research has shown that investing in compact, connected, and efficient cities could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 Gt CO2 per year by 2030 and generate savings of as much as US$17 trillion by 2050. But many national governments fail to recognize the importance of investing in sustainable urban infrastructure, continuing to incentivize cars and coal rather than public transport and renewable energy.

‘Cities are on the frontline of delivering on climate action, global development and economic growth.’ said Mark Watts during the launch. ‘Many mayors are already demonstrating leadership on these fronts but to really unlock the full potential of cities, we also need to coordinate efforts at the national level.’

The Council aims to drive the global effort to unleash the full potential of cities: unlocking those trillions and driving strong climate action. It will do so by supporting national-level decisions on urban development in countries around the world, linking city-level strategies with broader national economic planning.

Its members include Sheela Patel, Chair of Slum/Shack Dwellers International, Gino van Begin, Secretary-General of ICLEI, and Wael Hmaidan, Executive Director of Climate Action Network International among others.

‘The battle for a sustainable future will be won or lost in the world’s cities. Yet only one-fifth of countries have urban strategies. We need much better coordination between city and national governments, agreement on how to fund them at a large scale and more capacity to get the job done,’ says Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute, ‘The Urban Leadership Council will be an invaluable asset in supporting national and city governments to work together, hand in hand, to get cities right and to achieve overall national economic, social, and environmental goals.’

The first Urban Leadership Council meeting will be held on Tuesday 14 November in Bonn.





Notes to Editors:

The Coalition for Urban Transitions, jointly led by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities in partnership with the New Climate Economy, is the first major international initiative to make the economic case for better urban development globally.

The Coalition’s goal is to support national decision makers to unlock the power of cities for enhanced national economic, social, and environmental performance, including reducing the risk of climate change. The Coalition advances its efforts through an ambitious programme focused on 5 key areas: policies, finance, economics, mobility, and energy.

The Coalition is comprised of over 20 partners, including WRI, C40, Stockholm Environment Institute, The International Institute for Environment and Development, The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (at the University of Leeds), LSE Cities (at the London School of Economics and Political Science), PWC, Siemens, the Overseas Development Institute, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, Tsinghua University, the African Centre for Cities, McKinsey Centre for Business and Environment, the OECD, the Urban Land Institute, Climate Policy Initiative, the Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Economic Policy Research Centre (Uganda), and the Global Green Growth Institute among others.

The Urban Leadership Council is comprised of 16 members, representing 2050 Pathways Platform, ICLEI, Climate Group, Cities Alliance, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Mission 2020, Climate Action Network International (CAN), New Climate Economy, Business & Sustainable Development Commission / Energy Transitions Commission, Slum Dwellers International (SDI), United Cities and Local Government (UCLG), UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), We Mean Business, and World Economic Forum.

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