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WE LIVE HERE TOGETHER Mayors Working for Inclusive Climate Action


C40Cities @c40cities



“When we speak of the ‘environment’, what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and the society which lives in it… We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature. We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.” POPE FRANCIS



INTRODUCTION Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home made a powerful argument that efforts to tackle climate change must also address issues of poverty and social inequality. It set out the moral imperative to communicate and act upon the inter-connectedness of environmental, social and economic development. It has also inspired a renewed commitment among mayors and local leaders around the world to pursue inclusive and sustainable growth in cities while also tackling climate change. As the new Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has identified social inclusion as a strategic priority for the organization and its global network of more than 85 cities, over half of which are in the Global South. Consequently, C40 has a new Inclusive Climate Action program, which will provide tools and strategies to help mayors tackle two of the greatest challenges facing cities today – climate change and inequality – in an integrated way. This publication features the vision of leading mayors from Bogotá, Cape Town, New York City, Paris, Portland, and Seoul who are pursuing inclusive climate action in their cities. Each of these mayors has implemented groundbreaking initiatives – from installing solar panels on low-income family homes to implementing resiliency strategies to protect vulnerable communities. The examples showcased here are meant to inform and inspire other cities around the globe, ensuring that efforts to address climate change help create sustainable cities for all.


Image: Jean Baptiste Gurliat


“Human beings are a part of this planet, and poverty is an obstacle to solving the ecological challenge. To win the fight against inequality, social inclusion and ecology must go together.” MAYOR ANNE HIDALGO

We’re proud that Paris City Hall’s focus on climate change started over 10 years ago. Since then, we have established and fine-tuned a truly integrated policy across all municipal activities. With the help of Paris Deputy Mayor for the Environment, Celia Blauel, we can now say that every city department and all of our people ‘think climate’, particularly in the area of social care. For instance, our social centers and agencies for elderly and homeless people are trained and equipped to face a potentially catastrophic heatwave.

Global warming will always impact our most vulnerable populations hardest. The homeless, the disabled and the isolated are most at risk from heatwaves, cold snaps, flooding or resource scarcity. So although climate change targets are a priority, we also focus on social policies to address the hazardous effects of climate change for all citizens. The Paris Climate Plan demands a concrete focus on social cohesion and inclusivity. Our Climate Plan aims to reduce energy consumption in social housing by 30% before 2020. In terms of our social housing, we have improved and reinforced our work to renovate our portfolio, focusing on climate change efficiencies. We also have strict criteria for every new building.

Paris/ Henri Garat

Then there is flood defense. The River Seine is, literally, at the very heart of Paris. Our Municipal Social Center was the first city department to develop a guide of best practices in case of a major flood. Our Future Resilience Strategy, currently in development, will consider inclusivity as the best tool to face any kind of shock or crisis, including climate resilience.

Energy renovation of social housing Paris is undertaking ambitious retrofitting projects for social housing providers in order to achieve a 30% reduction of energy consumption in the city’s housing stock between now and 2020, compared to 2004 levels. For this purpose, the City has, along with social housing providers, defined the terms and conditions of its grants in order to promote the energy renovation work in their building stock. From 2004 to 2014, 28,097 social housing units received funds for energy renovation, generating savings of 44,800 tCO2 and 259 GWh/year. These renovations have led to savings of an average €400/year on heating bills for the low-income families who reside in these renovated housing units, and the creation of over 5,000 jobs in the building sector.

Paris introduces car-free Sundays Paris will ban car traffic along the Champs Elysées and nine other routes on the first Sunday of each month, adding to the 13 areas already announced as part of the “Paris Breathes” campaign. Since taking office in 2014, Mayor Anne Hidalgo has made improving Paris’ air quality one of her top priorities. Her efforts have proven successful. Last September, Paris’ ‘Day Without Cars’ brought levels of smog-causing nitrogen dioxide down by 40% in parts of the city. Strong action is also being taken by the City to pedestrianize roads. The most recent example is the transformation of the right bank of the River Seine (called Voies sur Berge rive droite) into a pedestrianized street where Parisians can walk and cycle. Giving roadways back to pedestrians allows Paris to both tackle air pollution – a major health issue in the city – whilst reducing GHG emissions.

Supporting water saving The City of Paris’ water saving programs demonstrate the value of water saving kits by raising awareness about the benefits of better water management. Eau de Paris established a new partnership in order to promote good water management in four housing developments belonging to the social landlord ELOGIE. Challenges included changing practices, encouraging people to use tap water instead of bottled water and the efficient tracking of leaks. These water savings programs improve access to high quality, but low cost, water to Parisians, while strengthening more responsible water management practices.


“Our challenge was, how do we wake up our citizens to energy saving? The simple answer? Make it a matter of pride. Train our unemployed to tackle the problem head-on.” MAYOR PARK WON-SOON

In Seoul, we firmly believe that energy poverty, caused by or made worse by climate change, can only be beaten when people from public and private groups work together in powerful partnerships. Together, these partnerships can achieve common goals that will benefit everyone, promoting energy saving and sharing cultures. A huge part of this is our initiative to train unemployed citizens – those who have experienced energy poverty - as energy consultants.

In Seoul, we’ve created a successful collaboration between the City authorities and businesses, civic groups and citizens, called the ‘Energy Welfare Public Private Partnership Program’. The program works to improve energy welfare for low-income families through support initiatives carefully designed to reflect the unique characteristics of local communities and businesses. The multifaceted program includes free installation of home energy improvements to poor households, a Virtual Power Plant energy credit donation project, and an empowering initiative that trains unemployed citizens as energy consultants. The program is about protecting our citizens, particularly the most vulnerable. We use an established PPP structure to protect underprivileged families from the negative effects of climate change and foster social equity. We achieve this through close partnerships between local government and business, civic groups and citizens. Our energy-saving and sharing culture provides low-income families with systematic energy performance consulting services, and direct and indirect support on avoiding energy poverty. The energy-poor are engaged through energy welfare projects, again optimized through the hiring of underprivileged job-seekers as energy consultants and energy welfare workers.

Promoting photovoltaic power In Seoul, eco-friendly initiatives include the promotion of photovoltaic power generation by citizens through financial support for 40,000 solar PV panels, which will be installed on the homes of low-income families. These are expected to result in lasting GHG emission reductions and increased green energy uptake. This will also support the expansion of buildings’ mandatory generation of renewable and decentralized energy from 12% to 20%.

Certified green homes In 2015, Seoul financed energy retrofits of 1,295 households and aims to finance further retrofits in an additional 1,050 households in 2016. Retrofits ensure the maintenance and preservation of buildings and the continued operation and maintenance of energy efficient technologies. Action ranges from steps homeowners can implement themselves, to buying up distressed properties and making them certifiably green.

LED lights the future Seoul has determined that efficient use of energy and low energy consumption should become the norm in society and a natural priority of its citizens. With this in mind, the City has worked in collaboration with business and civic groups to replace 2,400 conventional lightbulbs in low-income houses, markets and childcare centers with LED bulbs.

Virtual power plant profits Seoul is the first South Korean city to register a virtual power plant that will sell 5MW of electricity saved by 17 municipal buildings. The annual profits will be sent to the Seoul Energy Welfare Civic Fund for the expansion of its energy welfare programs.


“For me, it’s a human thing, a common trait. We think of ourselves as a big small town. It’s an ethic of we live here together.” MAYOR CHARLIE HALES

The City of Portland has made great strides in addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions. However, we’re still a long way from meeting our climate goals. What we know for sure is that government cannot achieve this alone – everyone needs to take part. But not all Portlanders have access to climate actions and their benefits. Prioritizing inclusion means the benefits of climate actions – protection from disasters, economic opportunities, better health – are extended to all communities across our city.

In Portland, lower income populations have less access to healthy and energy efficient housing, public transportation or safe biking and walking routes. These communities will also be disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, as they’re more likely to live in areas with less tree canopy. Therefore, they’re more vulnerable to heat-related and respiratory illness. To update our 2015 Climate Action Plan, we engaged six community organizations representing these lower income populations. They now partner alongside City staff to ensure our climate actions are inclusive of all Portlanders. In fact, Desiree Williams-Rajee, Equity Specialist for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, was named a 2016 Champion of Change for Climate Equity by President Obama. This was due in large part to her role in integrating inclusion into Portland’s Climate Action Plan. We continue to develop new approaches to working with community members that will ensure we identify those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This way, we ensure they have an influence in decision-making and design processes, respecting their expertise and experience. This approach also helps us to make decisions that seek to remedy the historical imbalance in opportunity.

Piloting solar panel crowdsourcing The City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability piloted solar crowdsourcing to raise funds for the installation of solar panels in locations that serve the community. A prime example is Lent Elementary School – located in an historically underserved neighborhood. Here a 10kWh solar system was installed on the roof. In addition, another 10kWh, system was installed nearby on the roof of the new futsal court at Hacienda Community Development Corporation’s Ortiz Center.

Prioritizing transport safety The City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability made grants for energy efficiency upgrades to small business owners with a focus on inclusion. The Bucks for Buildings program paid the full costs of energy efficiency upgrades through U.S. federal funding. Outreach was aimed at small businesses in Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative areas – those that have historically been left behind while the rest of Portland has prospered.

Energy efficiency upgrades Shifting more people to walking, biking and public transit is core to Portland’s climate efforts. But not all preferred routes are safe. Portland’s Vision Zero initiative includes an explicit focus on prioritizing safety improvements in areas where low-income families live. For example, the installation of rapid flash beacons in East Portland increased the number of drivers stopping for walkers from 18% to nearly 80%.

Accessible and affordable EVs Portland is in the process of updating its Electric Vehicle Strategy. Making low-carbon EVs accessible and affordable for all citizens, and particularly low-income families, is crucial to reducing the Portland’s transportationrelated emissions. To achieve this, the City is supporting innovative financing programs, like used EV leasing, and EV car-sharing in affordable housing projects.

“Our people deserve better living conditions, because safer, more energy efficient homes mean healthier, stronger people who benefit from more fulfilling, rewarding lives.” MAYOR ENRIQUE PEÑALOSA LONDOÑO


In Bogotá, around 8,000 families live in communities that are at high-risk of landslides, erosion and flooding. The cost of damage to housing caused by climate change from 2002 to 2015 was around US $203 million. As a result, our work to reduce the damaging effects of climate change is directly related to strategies to promote inclusion and social equity. By giving people better and safer living conditions, we’re determined to safeguard human lives, property and the environment.

The City of Bogotá has prioritized risk management mechanisms that will allow improved living conditions and quality of life for the families exposed to diverse climate threats. Our aim is to reorganize the communities most at risk, focusing on ecological conservation and adaptation to climate change. In the current city development plan ‘Bogotá Mejor Para Todos 2016-2020’, a prime goal is to reduce 800,000 tons of GHG emissions. This will contribute to the commitment we made at COP21 to a 20% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030. The plan also details our strategy to protect families from the risks of climate change, adapting the environments in which they live. Essentially, it aims to reduce losses of human life, as well as environmental and economic impacts, associated with the damage caused by climate change. Our risk and disaster management programs include processes to prevent soil erosion in order to reduce our communities’ exposure and vulnerability to risk. The programs include training, construction, resettlement and early warning systems that strengthen social and institutional resilience.

Combating the risk of landslides Bogotá’s city government seeks to improve living conditions for around 8,700 families located in areas at risk of landslides. The District Development Plan will resettle 280 families living where landslide risk cannot be suitably reduced. Those 115 hectares of land will be recovered through soil protection initiatives to create public spaces that are beneficial to the city. The City also plans to recover wetlands to regulate water flow and protect high Andean forest and moors ecosystems.

Programa de infraestructura para el Desarrollo del Habitat (Infrastructure for Developing Habitats Program) This program promotes the growth of Bogotá’s public services, including aqueducts, sewers and public lighting. The aim is to conserve water supplies and promote energy efficiency. To improve the urban environment and quality of life for the citizens of Bogotá, the program focuses on improving air, water, noise, landscape and soil conditions. It aims to increase adaptability to climate change through ecological projects, including the recovery and protection of the Bogotá River and Eastern Hills.

Plan Bicioptions for healthier lives ‘Plan Bici’ is Bogotá’s ambitious plan to become the cycling capital of the Americas by 2027. This is not only focused on a significant decrease in emissions, but also on increasing physical activity. In turn, this will improve access to jobs and education, reduce inequalities in access and connectivity, and decrease travel times. Plan Bici is organized into four areas – security, culture, infrastructure and institutions – and citizens are helping to inform the design of the plan in each area.

The Ciudad del Rio Project The City of Bogotá is also promoting civil works that will prevent soil erosion, while ensuring terrain stability and the recovery of water bodies. The Ciudad del Rio is a major civil engineering project that will establish piers and wooded parks on both sides of the Bogotá River. The project aims to create a protective infrastructure for the city and a vibrant and healthy social environment for future generations.

“We need a larger societal transformation. The fight against climate change has the possibility of unifying us, and allowing us to think about reshaping our society.” MAYOR BILL de BLASIO


New York is a dynamic and diverse city. The de Blasio Administration is guided by goals of inclusion and our OneNYC plan is delivering inclusive climate actions that increase prosperity and opportunity for all New Yorkers while we address the global threat of climate change. Often the communities most affected by the impacts of climate change are also our most vulnerable communities. That’s why OneNYC was developed as a blueprint of the city we want our children to inherit. The actions we take now will ensure that we achieve a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient city that is prepared to withstand and emerge stronger from the threats ahead.

OneNYC builds on a solid foundation of climate action in New York City, and specifically adds a new focus on addressing inequality to promote inclusive climate action. Inclusive outcomes aren’t simply considered as an isolated issue. Rather, inclusion is embedded across the entire OneNYC plan and its over 200 initiatives. Each initiative defines clear, positive outcomes and identifies the vulnerable communities across the five boroughs who will benefit. OneNYC also makes clear that we need to make our residents better prepared for the 21st century economy, our government more responsive, and our communities stronger in the face of threats posed by climate change. New York City continues to be a global powerhouse. As we continue to grow and expand quality jobs and economic opportunity, our city is more equitable by delivering higher wages and better job opportunities, more affordable housing, and better access to healthcare. We are more sustainable, with a lower carbon footprint, cleaner air, greener streets, and less waste sent to landfills. New York City is also more resilient as we recover from Hurricane Sandy and look to the future by investing over $20 billion to reduce risk and adapt our neighborhoods, public services, and economy to the growing risks of climate change.

New York City Housing Authority NYCHA, the city’s public housing authority, is working closely with the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and GrowNYC to promote recycling through a community engagement strategy with educational activities, workshops, and events. NYCHA is making recycling bins available and designating recycling areas. To date, recycling initiatives have been launched at 167 developments, impacting 262,303 residents and 1,398 buildings, helping New York City as it works to achieve its Zero Waste goals.

East Side Coastal Resiliency and Lower Manhattan The East Side Coastal Resiliency and Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Projects are coastal protection initiatives with twin goals of reducing flood risk due to coastal storms and sea level rise, while improving access to the waterfront and enhancing public spaces in the diverse communities of southern Manhattan. Since early visioning, the City has been working hand-in-hand with community partners and residents to identify the best ways to meet the challenges we face from climate change, including sea level rise and more frequent, intense storms. These projects advance the City’s commitment to protect vulnerable communities through fair and equitable community-based plans for resiliency and affordability.

Community Retrofit NYC Community Retrofit NYC is a program created to support communities in scaling up sustainability projects in small and mid-size multi-family buildings to help lower buildings’ utility costs, preserve affordable housing, and improve the quality of life for residents. It also helps building owners connect with the City’s new Green Housing Preservation Program (GHPP), which aims to ensure the physical and financial viability of properties, preserve affordability, and reduce building GHG emissions.


“When I talk about being an inclusive city, I mean I want everybody to feel that sense of belonging. To think, I belong to the city of Cape Town.” MAYOR PATRICIA de LILLE

For Cape Town, reducing carbon emissions is not a burden. Instead, it’s a goal on our journey to achieving economic growth, improving living conditions and reducing poverty. At the same time, we understand that to build resilience and promote resource efficiency, we must embrace public, private and community collaborations. We know that the City must play a critical role in building a low carbon future, where we’re able to cope better with climate change impacts.

If we follow a business-as-usual approach in Cape Town, by 2040 we’ll double our energy consumption and emissions, enduring a tenfold increase in energy expenditure. However, as a leading, innovative city, we’re moving in another direction. Our Energy2040 initiative models a more resilient, resource efficient future for Cape Town. Five-year action plans will make its goals an operational reality. Energy2040 will result in a 37% reduction in carbon emissions and a 16% reduction in energy consumption. It will reduce dependency on coal, with renewable energy generation from photovoltaics, wind and possibly natural gas. This includes the installation of over 500,000 solar water heaters and heat pumps in city homes. Energy2040 also demands a shift away from private transport, with increased access to public transport, reduced travel time and the use of more efficient vehicles with higher occupancy levels. Our goal is a remodelled city with increased mixed use in areas of economic activity, increased energy savings, and cheaper, more reliable energy sources. Households will have extra cash in their pockets, which will in turn circulate in the Cape Town economy.

Stabilizing water demand Through careful management, ingenuity and consumer education, the City of Cape Town has managed to significantly stabilize water demand. Water consumption growth has been reduced to less than 2% per annum and water wastage reduced to 20%, resulting in total water savings of approximately 30%. The project has resulted in direct savings of 58,473 tons CO2 per year, thanks to reduced energy requirements for pumping drinking water and wastewater, as well as for treating wastewater.

Retrofitting Cape Town’s ceilings Between 1994 and 2005, the National Government built many houses without insulated ceilings and weather-proofing, creating serious health problems for residents. To tackle this issue an initial pilot project was implemented in the Mamre neighborhood, where 260 ceilings were installed, followed by other pilots in Kuyasa and Khayelitsha. With City funding and capital raised from the Green Fund, Cape Town’s largescale retrofitting programme will be rolled out to 40,000 homes at a cost of R400 million.

Winter flood management Cape Town has a winter readiness task force that maps informal settlements to determine which flood mitigation measures need to be implemented to protect vulnerable, poorer communities from flooding. Rolling out the annual winter readiness plan also employs residents in poor communities to assist with flood mitigation programs and raising awareness.

A more sustainable transport network The City of Cape Town is building a more sustainable transport network. While the Mayor’s office extends the MyCiTi bus rapid transit service, Cape Town will also be the first city in Africa to use electric buses for public transport. These buses will have zero carbon emissions, using solar-powered charging stations. The contract ensures that the buses will be assembled locally, providing residents with job opportunities and the chance to learn new skills.

The mayors of the world’s leading cities continue to work together to address climate change to help create a sustainable future for all. To learn how to bring inclusive climate action to your city, please visit www.C40inclusivecities.org.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ABOUT C40 CITIES CLIMATE LEADERSHIP GROUP C40 connects more than 85 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 650+ million people and one quarter of the global economy. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, wellbeing and economic opportunities of urban citizens. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is C40 Chair, preceded by Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, who served as Chair from 2013-2016. Three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania.

ABOUT THE CITI FOUNDATION The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

This publication is made possible by support from the Citi Foundation. Special thanks to the Mayors of Bogotá, Cape Town, New York City, Paris, Portland and Seoul for their participation, and to Eco-Age and Untold for their work on this project.

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