Mayors from the world’s major cities representing more than 750 million people have published a statement of principles for their recovery plans, claiming that things cannot continue ‘business as usual’ once this pandemic lifts. Tanzia Haq reports.
Experts have been saying this since the pandemic first broke out, that our current lifestyles and the way we have been encroaching on the natural world, is definitely a stimulus behind the pandemic. Now mayors from leading cities around the world have developed an action plan that puts some priority on equality and climate resilience. A lot of cities had already announced that they would be enacting lower carbon emission strategies and improving urban planning for sustainable future development, before the statement was announced.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York is one of the signatories of the statement. He said: “We need a new deal for these times – a massive transformation that rebuilds lives, promotes equality and prevents the next economic, health or climate crisis.”
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, announced on Wednesday that the city will be building more cycling lanes and pedestrian walkways to encourage less air pollution and green travel.
“Covid-19 has exposed the inequality in our society and deep flaws in our economy, which fail people from deprived communities more than anyone else,” Khan commented.
Mayors in cities across the world joined together under the newly formed C40 economic task force, the goal of which is to move forward sustainably after the pandemic. Mark Watts, chief executive of the C40 group, said a lot collective fundraising is taking place to enact sustainable urban solutions such as electric car manufacture and retrofitting buildings. He said that these investments now will yield “very good long-term returns.”
“There is now a hell of a lot of collaboration among very powerful politicians who do think a green economic recovery is absolutely essential,” he said.
The statement so far has signatories from 33 world cities, including Los Angeles, New York, São Paulo, Melbourne, Seoul and Mexico City. Former mayor of New York and current C40 board president Mike Bloomberg stated: “This taskforce is committed to helping city leaders as they work on economic recovery in ways that lead us forward into the future, not back into the past. The principles we’ve outlined will guide our efforts to develop a new normal – one that is greener, healthier, and more prosperous for everyone.”