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To Support Climate Efforts, Support Mayors

As important as decarbonization commitments from national governments are, it is city mayors who are on the front lines in the global struggle against climate change. But with the pandemic having decimated municipal budgets, cities will need more support to continue the pioneering work they have already begun.

BRUSSELS – At this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, much of the attention will be on what national governments can do to cut emissions more quickly and uphold a previous commitment to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance for low- and middle-income countries.

These are critical issues. But there is another group of leaders whose actions are also essential to tackling climate change, and who together are showing what is possible: the world’s mayors. In fact, pledging more support for, and partnerships with, the cities pursuing climate adaptation and mitigation is one of the most important steps that national governments can take at COP26.

As home to a growing majority of the world’s population, cities are responsible for around three-quarters of global energy use and 70% of carbon dioxide emissions. Fortunately, mayors have considerable authority to address the biggest sources of those emissions, not least transportation and building energy use.

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