World Mayors Call For Car-Free Streets And More

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Above photo: Cyclists ride through an intersection in downtown Brooklyn on July 30, 2019 in New York City. Drew Angerer / Getty Images.

Also End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies as Part of ‘Green and Just Recovery.’

Mayors from some of the world’s major cities have unveiled their vision for how the world can recover from the coronavirus pandemic while encouraging environmental justice and fighting the climate crisis.

The C40 Mayors’ Agenda for a Green and Just Recovery, announced Wednesday, includes measures already being adopted in many cities to recover from the pandemic in a way that addresses inequalities and keeps global heating to the Paris agreement goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. As part of their vision, the mayors are calling on national governments to end all subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.

“Nations must seize this moment to decisively move away from investments in high carbon and fossil fuel intensive industries and increase investments in a low carbon future,” the mayors wrote, according to a press release emailed to EcoWatch.

C40 Cities are a group of 96 world cities representing more than 700 million of the world’s people and a quarter of the world’s economy. In April, they formed the Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force to craft a way to respond to the pandemic without abandoning their climate goals, Grist reported, and Wednesday’s proposal is the result.

“Right at the outset of the pandemic, C40 Mayors felt the need to collaborate even more closely, to be able to rapidly learn from each other and take the most appropriate decisions to tackle the COVID-19 challenge,” task force chair and mayor of Milan, Italy Giuseppe Sala said in the press release. “A visionary Mayoral Task Force was created to elaborate on a pathway towards a new, better normal, to the benefit of all cities of the world.”

The mayors’ agenda is divided roughly into two parts: what cities can do on their own, and what they are calling on national and international institutions to help them achieve. On the city level, the mayors called for green jobs, support for essential workers, investments in public services and the creation of greener, more livable cities.

Part of this vision means a shift away from cars and towards public transportation, walking and cycling, Grist pointed out. The plan includes calls to “give streets back to people” by devoting more roadspace to pedestrian or bike paths. It also promotes the idea of a 15-minute city, in which residents can find everything they need within a short walk or bike-ride of their home.

These changes are already being implemented in some cities, Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. Seattle, for example, has permanently banned cars from 20 miles of city streets. Montreal has created 185 miles of new bike and walking paths in two months. Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, is working on building a network of electric cable cars.

Cities are also investing in green jobs and green energy. Los Angeles has supported the installation of solar panels on the homes of almost 2,000 low-income families and hired 200 recently incarcerated people to do it. Cape Town, South Africa is training and paying people from low-income communities to retrofit houses.

“Once again, it is city mayors who are showing us the way forward in confronting the COVID-19 public health crisis, reducing inequality and addressing the climate crisis. City mayors understand that we must take action that protects people’s lives and livelihoods now and in the future by recovering better and building a more resilient and sustainable economy,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in support. “Cities are agents and engines of change and they can deliver solutions that will reduce carbon emissions to get to carbon neutrality by 2050 while creating better and more sustainable jobs.”

But the mayors also acknowledged that they could not achieve this vision alone. They called on national and international governments and institutions to support them by adapting six commitments. In addition to ending fossil fuel subsidies, the other commitments are:

  1. Ensuring all recovery plans are green
  2. Ensuring all recovery plans prioritize equality and inclusivity
  3. Supporting public transportation
  4. Supporting clean energy
  5. Investing in cities to help with the recovery

The plan also has the support of youth climate activists like University of California, Los Angeles undergraduate Briana Carbajal.

“COVID-19 made us face ourselves at our worst. We began questioning everything we know about how we exist on this planet. Out of this tragedy, I am hopeful that it has provided us with a grim enough reflection on the ways we have failed each other, and our home, so that we may move forward to remedy ourselves of racial injustice, environmental degradation, and willful ignorance,” she said in the press release. “The Green and Just Recovery is a necessity on the path to healing. A path I am grateful my generation is leading.”

  • I heart big sister

    Please consider reading: “Behind the Green Mask” by Rosa Koire. What you are describing is the implementation of UN Agenda 21. None of what you are talking about has anything to do with social or environmental justice. In fact, it is about the opposite, oppression and destruction of the ecosystem.

    One look at how mayors have actually acted during Covid 19 exposes the myth. These Mayors are responsible for the deaths of many people in nursing homes. They called police to brutalize their citizens. They place unconstitutional restrictions on citizens. They destroyed small businesses and the livelihoods of many people. This has resulted in starvation in their cities and around the world (due to supply chain collapse). This has also resulted in suicides, lack of early medical treatment of concern, heart disease etc., a murderous totalitarianism. These are not saviors, they have committed crimes against humanity. Why are you looking at them to save anyone or the environment?

    I am trying to understand how this looks like a picture of justice and empowerment of the people. Freedom is apparently slavery.

  • Nylene13

    Good! We must change the way we live.

  • Nylene13

    What are you talking about?

    Banning cars from city streets and creating bike and walking paths are a good thing.

    Are you saying it was Unconstitutional to shut down businesses due to the C.Virus?

    Just what are you saying?

  • I heart big sister

    Hi Nylene,

    The closest analogy I know is when the US invades and destroys other nations because we just want to help women have rights or we want to bring democracy and freedom to them.

    I’m for women’s rights. I’m for democracy and freedom and I bet many people are that read this site. But you have to wonder how genocidal war criminals came to suddenly care about women’s rights, freedom and democracy. Doesn’t that seem strange to you? It sure does to me! And how has the plan to bring rights to women, freedom and democracy around the globe worked out so far? Not very well.

    So when a powerful groups wants to do something evil, they rarely just say, oh, let’s go burn the crops in Syria so we can take their oil and destroy their nation. Or, we want to run Venezuela so we’ll just be sending Guido to take things over on our behalf Nope, USGinc. is bringing freedom and democracy to Syria and Venezuela!!! Right????

    Well no, that isn’t what is happening. Just so, look at the corrupt and evil things these various mayors have done to the people under their control. Of course, they will tell you they are saving you from Covid 19 and just want to make the city wonderful, clean and environmentally friendly. They are bringing democracy to your city!

    Hmmm, look at the viciousness of their behavior against their own citizens and ask yourself why such vicious people would be trying to help you. I gave a resource to check out if you want to. But always look at actions, not words. These mayors have murdered citizens during Covid 19. Why would you look to murderers as environmental or social justice saviors?

  • Nylene13

    I am still confused by what you are saying. This article is pointing out some good things that have been implemented.

    You seem to be saying that we should not say anything positive about these mayors and their programs and changes they have made because they are all corrupt.

    Is that right?

    Well we should still recognize the good programs and changes that have happened. Does not mean you have to vote for the guy if you don’t want to.

    How are the Mayors responsible for the deaths of many people in nursing homes? You never state why you think that.

  • I heart big sister

    Nylene, Most people are multi dimensional so there is usually something you can truthfully say is nice or good about them. Maybe you like Tony Blair’s commitment to the Christian faith or GWB’s paintings or stuff like that. War criminals can love their dogs and they can even do helpful things for their family and friends. It’s just that they are still war criminals and no matter how nice they may be in some contexts, that fact remains and they should face a court of law for those crimes. There should be skepticism when a war criminal proposes bringing freedom and democracy or professes their love of women’s rights.

    I can only urge you to research what these environmental programs are truly about just as I would urge you to look at whether are war criminal presidents have actually brought about freedom and democracy. I gave you one good resource.

    So sure, I’m certain these mayors have some good qualities. This doesn’t erase that they are mass murderers and set the police against their own citizens. Look up information about putting people with illness into nursing homes and how nursing homes were abandoned during (and still) Covid 19.

    Then question the intent and motives of murderers even when they make their agenda sound nice!

  • chetdude

    It would better serve your purpose to drop the right-wing propaganda and tin-foil hat conspiracies using “UN Agenda 21”.

    It’s true that most mayors are more concerned with greasing the wheels of commerce rather than creating a friendly environment for most humans and our fellow creatures.

  • I heart big sister

    Chetdude,

    You can read about this in the UN’s own documents. Evidence is evidence. Don’t be so afraid to actually look at things and make a good decision based on evidence. Calling things a conspiracy theory and right wing is no substitute for reading the UN documents for yourself!

  • chetdude

    Please give us a little more insight into your thinking.

    Which environmental solutions do you consider good and which of them bad?

    We get your point about evil done and I’ve already remarked that the primary drive of most mayors is to grease the wheels of ‘commerce’, including privately owned “nursing homes”. They are usually working for the wrong, winning side in the Class War.

  • I heart big sister

    chet,

    I already answered that question above. You aren’t getting my point. There are excellent ideas for organic food, cleaner energy etc. My point is that these mayors are feeding you fake food that sounds like it’s just what you want when really it’s soylent green!

  • Nylene13

    I don’t think this poster is making any sense Chetdude. She is just making vague accusations.

  • Nylene13

    You are not making any sense.

    What did you mean by “mayors have killed people in nursing homes”?
    You made the comment, why don’t you explain what you mean?

  • Nylene13

    Sounds like you are reading some weird stuff.

    I don’t think putting sick or elderly people into nursing homes is necessarily a bad idea. If they can no longer care for themselves, where would you have them go?

  • chetdude

    That still doesn’t say anything.

    Big city mayors are driven by the (mostly commercial) needs of the elites in the Owner/Donor Class that install them into their office. So aren’t they just doing their jobs?

  • Harbinger

    Agenda 21 is not a treaty. It has no force of law, no enforcement mechanisms, no penalties, and no significant funding. It is not even a top-down recommendation, seeking instead to encourage communities around the world to come up with their own solutions to overpopulation, pollution, poverty and resource depletion. It is a feel-good guide that cannot force anyone, anywhere, to do anything at all.

    – SPLC report

    Isn’t reality – actual reality, right under your nose can’t miss it reality – horrific enough for you without you latching onto made up nonsense like this?

  • I heart big sister

    Hi Nylene,

    Do you really not know what happened here? Sick people were transferred from the hospital in to nursing homes, not the other way around. This resulted in the deaths of nursing home residents. Doing this is contrary to medical safety. Some nursing home owners refused to allow this to happen to their people but most allowed it.

    I am surprised you don’t know about this but it happened in many states which is where the bulk of the deaths from Covid 19 occurred–in nursing homes.

    I hope you will look into this because it is a horrible scandal and constitutes murder by the mayors who forced it to happen.

  • chetdude

    I think you posted this in the wrong place…

  • Harbinger

    I think you are right. Sorry.

  • Harbinger

    Here we go…

    Agenda 21 is not a treaty. It has no force of law, no enforcement mechanisms, no penalties, and no significant funding. It is not even a top-down recommendation, seeking instead to encourage communities around the world to come up with their own solutions to overpopulation, pollution, poverty and resource depletion. It is a feel-good guide that cannot force anyone, anywhere, to do anything at all.

    – SPLC report

    Isn’t reality – actual reality, right under your nose can’t miss it reality – horrific enough for you without you latching onto made up nonsense like this?

  • Harbinger

    No UN documents support anything you are saying.

  • I heart big sister

    I gave a reference above and I have enough confidence in the intelligence of others to read and make their own decision. Every person needs to do their own research.

    Here is the book by Rosa Koire. “Behind the Green Mask”. In this book are the UN’s own documents. Anyone can read them and see if what I’m describing is accurate or not.

  • chetdude

    No worries… 🙂