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11 October 2019

C40 mayors make global ‘clean air’ pledge

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

In a move that will have significant implications for urban transit, 35 mayors at this week’s C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen have pledged to “implement substantive clean air policies by 2025”.

Among other developments, this is likely to mean further increases in low- or zero-carbon public transport and zero-emissions zones, along with enhanced incentives and infrastructure to support walking and cycling, in cities worldwide.

Signing the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration, the mayors signalled their intention of meeting World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality guidelines by 2030, which recognise among other things that breathing clean air is a human right.

WHO says that nine out of 10 citizens around the world breathe dirty air, with seven million dying prematurely each year due to air pollution.

Mayors from cities including Tokyo, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Delhi, Lisbon, Jakarta, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Houston, Oslo, Washington, DC and Sydney have signed the document.

The declaration also calls on nation states and businesses to match their commitment.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said the UK capital had introduced that world’s first ultra-low emission zone, adding that 75% of vehicles in central London “now meet these tough standards”.

Los Angeles’ Green New Deal includes policies on transportation, buildings, and industry that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent 1,650 premature deaths and 660 hospital admissions per year from reduced air pollution.

In Paris, switching the bus fleet to clean vehicles and implementing a zero-emission zone, could avert 385 premature deaths, the C40 says.

In addition, 35 cities have committed to the C40 Green and Healthy Streets Declaration, through which they have pledged to procure only zero-emissions buses from 2025 and make a major area of the city transport emissions-free by 2030.

At the conference this week, C40 mayors announced their support for a Global Green New Deal to “drive an urgent, fundamental and irreversible transfer of global resources away from fossil fuels and into action that averts the climate emergency”. Last month many mayors of global cities signed an open letter backing climate change strikers.

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