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12 Global Cities Commit to Create Green and Healthy Streets By 2030

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On Monday, the mayors of London, Paris, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Quito, Vancouver, Mexico City, Milan, Seattle, Auckland and Cape Town committed to a series of ambitious targets to make their cities greener, healthier and more prosperous. By signing the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration, the pioneering city leaders pledged to procure only zero-emission buses from 2025 and ensure that a major area of their city is zero emission by 2030. The policies are designed to fight air pollution, improve the quality of life for all citizens and help tackle the global threat of climate change.


Signatories to the declaration "envision a future where walking, cycling, and shared transport are how the majority of citizens move around our cities." The cities therefore commit to:

  • Increase rates of walking, cycling and the use of public and shared transport.
  • Reduce the number of polluting vehicles on city streets.
  • Lead by example by procuring zero emission vehicles for city fleets.
  • Collaborate with suppliers, fleet operators and businesses to accelerate the shift to zero emissions vehicles and reduce vehicle miles in cities.

"Air pollution caused by petrol and diesel vehicles is killing millions of people in cities around the world. The same emissions are also causing climate change," said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and C40 chair. "In Paris we are taking bold action to prioritize the streets for pedestrians and cyclists. Working with citizens, businesses and mayors of these great cities we will create green and healthy streets for future generations to enjoy."

Cities will report back every two years on the progress they are making towards the goals of the C40 Declaration.

"The largest sources of air pollution are also the largest sources of carbon emissions—and in many cities, transportation is the biggest culprit," said UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change and C40 board president, Michael R. Bloomberg. "C40 Mayors understand thriving cities require clean air. By switching to cleaner vehicles, we can fight climate change and save many lives."

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Aerial view of Ruropolis, Para state, northen Brazil, on Sept. 6, 2019. Tthe world's biggest rainforest is under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation. JOHANNES MYBURGH / AFP via Getty Images

By Kate Martyr

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest last month jumped to the highest level since records began in 2015, according to government data.

A total of 563 square kilometers (217.38 square miles) of the world's largest rainforest was destroyed in November, 103% more than in the same month last year, according to Brazil's space research agency.

From January to November this year an area almost the size of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico was destroyed — an 83% overall increase in destruction when compared with the same period last year.

The figures were released on Friday by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and collected through the DETER database, which uses satellite images to monitor forest fires, forest destruction and other developments affecting the rainforest.

What's Behind the Rise?

Overall, deforestation in 2019 has jumped 30% compared to last year — 9,762 square kilometers (approximately 3769 square miles) have been destroyed, despite deforestation usually slowing during November and December.

Environmental groups, researchers and activists blamed the policies of Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro for the increase.

They say that Bolosonaro's calls for the Amazon to be developed and his weakening support for Ibama, the government's environmental agency, have led to loggers and ranchers feeling safer and braver in destroying the expansive rainforest.

His government hit back at these claims, pointing out that previous governments also cut budgets to environment agencies such as Ibama.

The report comes as Brazil came to loggerheads with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) over climate goals during the UN climate conference in Madrid.

AOSIS blasted Brazil, among other nations, for "a lack of ambition that also undermines ours."

Last month, a group of Brazilian lawyers called for Bolsonaro to be investigated by the International Criminal Court over his environmental policies.

Reposted with permission from DW.

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