The United Nations’ annual climate summit officially kicked off yesterday, and many local leaders are already making it clear that they expect nations to take more ambitious climate action — even if it means going against the wishes of the fossil fuel industry.
“COP28 must be the COP of cities as well as national governments,” C40 Cities, a network of nearly 100 mayors worldwide, including 14 in the U.S., said in a news release.
In a Nov. 30 letter to heads of state, the organization’s two chairs called for global leaders to commit to rapidly phasing out fossil fuels. The letter, signed by the mayors of London and Freetown, Sierra Leone — Sadiq Khan and Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, respectively — urged the world to halt investment in new fossil fuel projects and halve fossil fuel use by 2035.
The mayors warned against “false solutions” that hinge on pulling climate pollution out of the atmosphere. “There is no viable technology currently available or expected to be in the near future that can extract carbon created by fossil fuels at the scale, pace and cost we need,” the letter says.