BARCELONA – Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau is the new Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee of C40. This is a global network of cities committed to the fight against climate change. Colau becomes leader of the organisation in Europe.
She takes over from Mayor Sadiq Khan of London. Futhermore, Colau will share the presidency with Giuseppe Sala, mayor of Milan and member of the board of directors. In addition, the C40 will be led worldwide by Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles – recently named America’s Ambassador to India by Joe Biden.
The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a member of 97 cities worldwide. Moreoever, it is home to a total of 700 million people and representing 25% of the global economy. Therefore, the city network aims to achieve the climate goals in the Paris Agreement thus preventing further global warming.
Successful projects in Barcelona
The Municipality of Barcelona sees Colau’s appointment as recognition of its commitment to keeping the air in the city clean. Likewise, it interprets it as an example for other European cities.
Colau introduced the successful ‘Supermanzanas’, neighborhoods where streets and squares are provided with gardens and parks and traffic is banned. Meanwhile, with its Plan Clima de Barcelona, Colau aims to achieve a 45% reduction in CO2 emissions per inhabitant by 2030. Consequently, this plan was voted the best initiative of the major European cities. It was awarded by a group of more than 7,000 local authorities from 51 European regions. With the Protejamos las Escuelas and Plan de Movilidad Urbana campaigns, the municipality aims to reduce motorised private transport by 25%. The former project realises a safe and clean environment for 150 schools.
Deepening European climate policy
As the current World Capital for Sustainable Food, Barcelona wants to encourage the C40 cities to review their current food model making it more sustainable. “We are delighted and honored to have been recognised by the C40. The most important network of cities in the fight against climate change. We assume the Vice-Presidency with a commitment to deepen European climate policy. Our Plan Clima has already been recognised as the best in Europe,” said Mayor Colau.
Colau also announced that it would continue with the Supermanzanas and that it would reduce motorised traffic by a quarter in the coming years. However, this is done not only from a climate point of view, but also to make the city more beautiful, healthier and quieter. In short, more livable!
Calau emphasised the urgency of urban climate policy, citing the recent floods in Germany and the extreme heat in Canada as examples. “Municipalities must put pressure on world leaders to achieve the climate goals. The urgency is great. We are risking life, not just the life of the future, but that of our children.”