C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

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C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40)
Founded October, 2005
(London, United Kingdom)
Type International organization
Focus Climate change
Area served
Participating member cities
Method Direct assistance, peer-to-peer exchange, research & communications[1]
Key people
Mayor Eduardo Paes (Chairman)
Michael Bloomberg (President of the Board of Directors)
President Bill Clinton (Founding Partner)
Mark Watts (Executive Director)
Mission C40 is committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally.
Website www.c40.org

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of the world's megacities taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.[2] C40 harnesses the assets of member cities to address climate risks and impacts locally and globally.[2]

C40 is composed of 70 member cities around the world.[3] On November 26th, the former C40 Chair, the 108th Mayor of New York City, Michael R. Bloomberg, was succeeded by the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes. Mayor Bloomberg served as the elected leader of the organization from 2010 – 2013, he will stay on as the President of the C40 Board of Directors.[4] Along with the Chair, a rotating steering committee of C40 mayors provides strategic direction and governance.[5] Current steering committee members include: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Houston, Jakarta, London, Berlin, Seoul, Los Angeles, Copenhagen and Rio de Janeiro.[6] With a focus on collaboration among member cities to excel climate actions,[clarification needed] C40 has established eleven networks across seven initiative areas with a global staff to support collaborative problem solving, promote the exchange of programs and policies developed by cities, and facilitate targeted peer-to-peer dialogue among city staff.[7]

Through these efforts, C40 aims to demonstrate that cities are significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and hopes to provide proven models that other cities and national governments can adopt.[8] In the words of C40 President Michael Bloomberg: "While international negotiations continue to make incremental progress, C40 Cities are forging ahead. Collectively they have taken more than 5,000 actions to tackle climate change, and the will to do more is stronger than ever. As innovators and practitioners, our cities are at the forefront of this issue – arguably the greatest challenge of our time."[9]


The organization started in October 2005 when the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, convened representatives from 18 megacities to pursue action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.[10] The meeting resulted in an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking action on a number of points, most notably procurement policies and alliances to accelerate the uptake of climate-friendly technologies.[10] This agreement began what later became known as the C40 Climate Leadership Group.

In 2006, Mayor Livingstone and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI)—lead by the efforts of former U.S. President Bill Clinton—combined to strengthen both organizations, bringing the number of cities in the network to 40 and helping to deliver world-class projects and project management for participating cities to further enhance emissions reductions efforts.[11]

Serving as C40’s first Chair, Mayor Livingstone established the C40 Secretariat in London, set up the C40 Steering Committee, and initiated the use of C40 workshops to exchange best practices amongst participating cities.[10] In 2008, former Mayor of Toronto David Miller took over as C40 Chair. Highlights of his tenure included the Copenhagen Climate Summit for Mayors and the C40 Cities Mayors Summit in Seoul, both in 2009, as well as the launch of practical action initiatives for cities, such as the C40-CCI Climate Positive Development Program and the Carbon Finance Capacity Building program.[10]

The tenure of current C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, began in December 2013, following the 2010-2013 Chairmanship of the Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg.[10] Key milestones in 2011 include the full integration of the CCI Cities Program into the C40, the C40 Cities Mayors Summit in Sao Paulo, the release of two reports developed in collaboration with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Arup Group Limited, and the announcement of two new partnerships with the World Bank and Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI).[10] Key milestones in 2012 include the first-ever cataloging of mayoral/municipal authority over various city assets,[11] the release of a draft edition of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions to harmonize emissions measurement and reporting across cities, strengthening C40’s partnership with the World Bank to better enable cities in developing parts of the world to drive local climate action,[12] and C40’s announcement at the global Rio+20 climate summit that C40 Cities’ existing actions will reduce global annual GHG emissions by 248 million tonnes in 2020, with the potential to reduce over 1 billion tonnes by 2030.[12] Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, C40 has grown to include 63 cities.


While C40 originally targeted megacities for their greater capacity to address climate change, C40 now offers three types of membership categories to reflect the diversity of cities taking action to address climate change. The categories consider such characteristics as population size, economic output, environmental leadership, and the length of a city’s membership.[13]

1. Megacities

  • Population: City population of 3 million or more, and/or metropolitan area population of 10 million or more, either currently or projected for 2025. OR
  • GDP: One of the top 25 global cities, ranked by current GDP output, at purchasing-power parity (PPP), either currently or projected for 2025.

2. Innovator Cities

  • Cities that do not qualify as Megacities but have shown clear leadership in environmental and climate change work.
  • An Innovator City must be internationally recognized for barrier-breaking climate work, a leader in the field of environmental sustainability, and a regionally recognized “anchor city” for the relevant metropolitan area.

3. Observer Cities

  • A short-term category for new cities applying to join the C40 for the first time; all cities applying for Megacity or Innovator membership will initially be admitted as Observers until they meet C40’s year-one participation requirements, for up to one year.
  • A longer-term category for cities that meet Megacity or Innovator City guidelines and participation requirements, but for local regulatory or procedural reasons, are unable to approve participation as a Megacity or Innovator City expeditiously.

Megacities make up the core of C40’s membership, with 42 cities currently in this category across developed and developing regions. As such, megacities retain sole access to C40 leadership and governance opportunities, such as serving as C40 Chair, as members of the C40 Steering Committee and the C40 Board.[13]

C40 cities[edit]

C40 has 70 participating member cities across seven geographic regions.[14]


Innovator cities:

Observer cities:

Management team[edit]

  • Mark Watts - Executive Director[15]
  • Kevin Austin – Director of Initiatives, Regions and Events[16]
  • Seth Schultz - Director of Research, Management and Planning[16]
  • Marie Scott Poulsen - Director of Communications[16]
  • Andrea Fernandez - C40 Governance and Global Partnerships[16]
  • Clare Hammacott – Director of Finance and Operations[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ What We Do For Cities, http://c40.org/why_cities, accessed 2014-04-10
  2. ^ a b About C40, http://c40.org/about, accessed 2013-03-04
  3. ^ C40 Cities, http://www.c40.org/cities, accessed 2014-06-12
  4. ^ Rio Mayor Paes to succeed Mayor Bloomberg as C40 Chair, http://c40.org/blog_posts/rio-mayor-paes-to-succeed-mayor-bloomberg-as-c40-chair, accessed 2014-05-20
  5. ^ What We Do For Cities, http://c40.org/why_cities, accessed 2014-04-10
  6. ^ Steering Committee, http://c40.org/steering_committees, accessed 2014-05-20
  7. ^ Mike Marinello, The Guardian, 2013-02-12, Climate change action in megacities – C40 collaboration, http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/c40-climate-change-cities-collaboration, accessed 2013-03-04
  8. ^ Infographic: C40 Cities Releases Landmark Research Revealing Expansion & Acceleration of Climate Actions in Megacities, http://c40.org/blog_posts/infographic-c40-cities-releases-landmark-research-revealing-expansion-acceleration-of-climate-actions-in-megacities, accessed 2014-05-20
  9. ^ C40 Home, http://www.c40.org, accessed 2014-05-10
  10. ^ a b c d e f History of the C40, http://c40.org/history, accessed 2013-03-05
  11. ^ a b Mike Marinello, The Guardian, 2013-02-12, Climate change action in megacities – C40 collaboration, http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/c40-climate-change-cities-collaboration, accessed 2013-03-05
  12. ^ a b 2012 in Review: Cities Commit to (and are achieving) GHG Reductions, http://c40.org/c40blog/2012-in-review-cities-commit-to-and-are-achieving-ghg-reductions, accessed 2013-03-05
  13. ^ a b Press Release: C40 Announces New Guidelines for Membership Categories, http://www.c40.org/press_releases/press-release-c40-announces-new-guidelines-for-membership-categories, accessed 2014-05-23
  14. ^ C40 Cities, http://www.c40.org/cities, accessed 2014-05-20
  15. ^ C40 Announces New Leadership and Funding Milestones, http://www.c40.org/c40blog/c40-announces-new-leadership-and-funding-milestones
  16. ^ a b c d e C40 Our Team, http://c40.org/our_team

External links[edit]