City of Sydney to host major 2020 women’s climate summit

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore today announced that the City of Sydney has been selected to host a major international climate conference in 2020.

The C40 Women4Climate Conference is an initiative of the C40, a network of 94 of the world’s largest cities, representing more than 700 million people worldwide.

Under the leadership of its former and current chairs – Michael Bloomberg and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo – the organisation has taken over 10,000 practical actions to tackle climate change.

“For too long, many national governments have failed to take action to address accelerating climate change, so cities are leading the way”, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“More than half of the world’s population live in cities, and generate a staggering 75 to 80 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, so action in our cities is crucial.

“Shamefully, our own national government has a history of wilful negligence and Australian politicians, both state and federal, are presiding over a climate disaster.

“Just this month in Australia, we’ve experienced the hottest month on record, unprecedented fish kills in the Murray-Darling river system and bushfires in Tasmania; while in the northern hemisphere people are dying in extreme freezing temperatures.

“Australia remains the largest exporter of coal in the world and until recently our state sourced more than 90 per cent of electricity from coal-fired power. Our National Government’s 2020 and 2030 emissions targets are profoundly inadequate and Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have been steadily increasing since the carbon tax was removed in 2013.”

The Lord Mayor said action on climate change is the City of Sydney’s top priority, and this conference would provide an opportunity to showcase the leadership of Sydney to the world.

“The City was among the first to set science-based targets in 2008 and since then we’ve reduced our emissions by 20 percent on 2005 levels, and are well on our way to achieving our 2030 goal of 70 per cent, and net zero by 2050,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We were inspired by Los Angeles to convert our 6,500 streetlights to LED more than a decade ago. Now our local energy provider Ausgrid is converting almost 10,000 more. This action alone is our largest carbon reduction project to date.

“The City has worked with our business community through the Better Buildings Partnership. Members have saved $33 million a year on power costs and reduced their emissions by 52 per cent since 2001, well over halfway to their 2030 target of a 70 per cent reduction.

“But our challenge is huge because of the lack of support from our state and national governments.”

“I hope that by hosting this major international conference, we can give voice to the majority of ordinary Australians who believe the science and want action but who are silenced by the powerful vested interests in our country, and help encourage one of the world’s highest producers of greenhouse gas emissions into taking more ambitious action.”

The City of Sydney will host the annual conference for three days in April 2020, bringing together hundreds of influential women leaders from government, business industry and the community sector to tackle climate change issues.

“As part of our successful bid, we’ve also committed to developing a 10 month mentoring program to empower Sydney’s next generation of female climate leaders by connected them with the current successful female climate change leaders,” said the Lord Mayor.

The Women4Climate initiative was founded by Paris Mayor and C40 Chair Anne Hidalgo in 2016 to enhance women’s participation and leadership to secure a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore, the CEO of the City of Sydney Monica Barone and the Lord Mayor’s chief of staff, Shehana Teixeira will travel to the 2019 C40 Women4Climate Conference in Paris later this month.

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