Twelve big-city mayors from across the globe recently committed to ensuring a fossil-fuel-free future, and they hope to do so by, among other measures, investing heavily in zero-emission technologies. The coalition of local leaders—which includes Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, and Mayor Sadiq Khan of London—signed the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration last week, pledging to exclusively procure zero-emission buses beginning in 2025. The declaration acknowledges the need for comprehensive transit solutions and hopes to accelerate the global shift to zero-emission vehicles.
The signing cities, with a combined population of approximately 80 million, all form part of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of over 90 cities dedicated to collaboratively fighting climate change. Started in 2005, the group is based on the notion that cities and local policies, particularly vis-à-vis climate change, will be primarily responsible for shaping the future.
Particularly since the signing of the Paris Agreement, cities across the globe have implemented unique and local measures to better address climate change and achieve the goals of the accord. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the pact emphasized the need for local leadership on issues of climate change and galvanized mayors from across the country to take action regardless of federal policies.
The mayors also committed to people-friendly planning policies that prioritize walking, biking, and shared modes of transportation. These are to include the creation of zero-emission areas to reduce airborne pollution, foster healthier streets and neighborhoods, and improve quality of life.
The declaration affirms, in the words of Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess, “the power of cities to lead on climate.” It also bodes well for the future of the zero-emission industry, as zero-emission technologies are coming to play an increasingly important role in simultaneously addressing climate change and transportation needs.