Mayor Garcetti announces 'Race To Zero' commitment from 1,000+ cities at UN Summit

Mayor Eric Garcetti

Speaking at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti -- who chairs a climate coalition of 97 cities -- announced that more than 1,000 cities and local governments worldwide have joined the coalition's Cities Race to Zero campaign.

In joining the campaign, the cities pledged a goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and cutting their fair share of global emissions in half by 2030.

"The U.N. says that our collective action has the potential to reduce global emissions by at least 1.4 gigatons by 2030, annually," said Garcetti, noting that the more than 1,000 cities and local governments represent about 722 million people worldwide and more than a quarter of the world's GDP.

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The cities include Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Heidelberg in Germany, Salvador in Brazil and Osaka in Japan.

"At a time of immense worry, I come here with a message of intense hope," said Garcetti, speaking before heads of state from around the world.

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"If you don't think you can have a fully electric bus fleet, go to Shenzhen and see it. ... If you don't think that a city is on its way to 100% renewable power, I invite you to Los Angeles, where we will be 97% carbon free by the end of this decade."

The Cities Race To Zero is a partnership between C40 Cities, which Garcetti chairs. Other partners in the campaign include: the Carbon Disclosure Project; the Global Covenant of Mayors; United Cities and Local Governments; the World Resources Institute; the World Wildlife Fund; the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives; and Local Governments for Sustainability.

C40 Cities was founded in 2005, with Garcetti becoming chair in 2019. Its mission is to halve the amount of emissions produced by member cities within a decade.

Garcetti said Monday that two-thirds of C40 Cities set and met targets that are equal to or exceed the targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.

"Cities are leading the way to save our planet, to invest in our people and to leave no one behind," Garcetti said. "It is our residents who are fleeing fires, our residents who are fleeing floods, grappling with drought and head.

"We know how to fix it. Cities aren't just laboratories of progress. We are the factories of the future, transforming how we heat and cool our buildings, move around our cities and generate our electricity."

Garcetti is expected to be in Glasgow through Thursday.

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