Mayor López: We take care of citizens to help us save the planet

Mayor López: We take care of citizens to help us save the planetPhoto: Bogota Mayor’s Office.
The mayor, Claudia López, during her speech at the forum 'Thriving: Making Cities Climate-Ready', organized by the World Bank.

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This Thursday, the Mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López Hernández, participated in the forum 'Thriving: Making Cities Climate-Ready', organized by the World Bank, to present its latest report on sustainable development, which shares the same name. Distinguished government officials, including mayors and ministers from various countries, as well as members of civil society, also spoke in this virtual space to analyze the report's conclusions and recommendations.

According to the report, "Cities, as engines of prosperity, contribute significantly to climate change, generating approximately 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions." Hence, there is a need, as discussed, to steer cities toward sustainability.

During her speech, Mayor Claudia López discussed Bogotá's preparedness for new challenges: "If we want to address climate change, we have to take care of people because if they suffer from hunger or exclusion, they won't be able to save the planet. There is an order in which we must confront these challenges. First and foremost, we must take care of people, especially young people, and women, who need opportunities, the opportunity to not go hungry, to be able to feed their families, and to have decent jobs," stated the Mayor.

In the following tweet, Mayor Claudia López shared a video of her participation in the forum 'Thriving: Making Cities Climate-Ready', organized by the World Bank.

The new report by the World Bank examines the bidirectional relationship between cities and climate change. According to the report, the urban population grew from 1.19 billion to 4.46 billion between 1970 and 2021. Meanwhile, the temperature increased by 1.19°C above pre-industrial levels. This clearly indicates that cities, due to the prosperity they have helped generate, have been one of the main drivers of climate change. However, the document also highlights that many of the solutions to the climate crisis will be found within cities.

Referring to this point, Mayor López emphasized the role of people: "We must ensure their well-being if we want citizens who care about democracy. That is the second priority we must understand. Only democracies will achieve the Paris Agreement. Only democracies will engage their citizens in inclusive policies with social and environmental justice."

In 'Thriving: Making Cities Climate-Ready', the World Bank studied over 10,000 cities. The experts involved combined original empirical analysis with observations from various publications and sources worldwide. This enabled them to assess the current ecological, resilient, and inclusive nature of cities while examining the bidirectional interrelation between cities and climate change.

Mayor Claudia López used her intervention to explain how Bogotá tackled the crisis caused by the pandemic, turning it into an opportunity to implement an ambitious social rescue and job creation plan, supported by major infrastructure projects. This was aligned with the Master Plan and a long-term decarbonization vision, setting the city on track to meet its climate change goals by 2050.

"This allowed us to strengthen our priority, which has always been to take care of our citizens, as they will also defend their democracies. These democracies, alongside the people, will protect the planet and help us achieve those objectives," concluded Mayor López.