Urban 20: Global cities urge the G20 to work towards a green and fair recovery

Friday 02 October 2020

The third Urban 20 (U20) Summit called on leaders of the G20 to go further in helping local governments to build an inclusive and carbon neutral future.

The City of Buenos Aires participated in the III Urban20 Mayors Submit, organized by Riyad, Saudia Arabia, that took place virtually between September 30 and October 2. At the event mayors and leaders from cities all over the world urged the G20 nations to work for a green and fair recovery.

This third edition hosted cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Helsinki, Los Angeles, Montreal, Osaka, Roma, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. At the closure event, a record of 39 Mayors and leaders ratified a Statement in which they call the G20 countries to help cities work for a greener and fair recovery, and to accelerate progress in building an inclusive and carbon neutral future.

Among other recommendations, the statement calls for facilitating the access of cities to international funding for a sustainable recovery post Covid-19, with new financial mechanisms to develop cities on a human scale and encourage national and local cooperation. It also recommends the acceleration of the transition towards a circular and neutral carbon economy, and to empower people to pursue a more equitable and inclusive future. The statement will be delivered to the G20 Presidency and the Heads of State at the G20 Summit in November.

"The statement offers clear proposals for pursuing expansion and growth in the new normal. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many trends that will now be included in the agenda of global cities, such as the need to design cities at a human scale, the urge to act against climate change and integration as a primary condition of public policies," said Fernando Straface, General Secretary and Secretary of International Relations of Buenos Aires.

Urban 20 annually hosts the cities of G20 member states along with observer cities, international organizations and experts to discuss and present to the G20 leaders a common position on global development topics that are central to city priorities. These include climate action, inclusion and social integration and sustainable growth.

During the Submit, Buenos Aires and Rome led a session of the Special COVID Working Group that addressed financing for post-Covid sustainable urban rebuilding. "We need to support the development of innovative financial tools that favour green financing and broaden cities access to stimulus packages and recovery tools", said the Undersecretary for International & Institutional Relations of Buenos Aires, Francisco Resnicoff.

About Urban 20

Urban 20 was launched in 2017 at the One Planet Summit held in Paris, under the leadership of the Mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, with the support of C40 Cities and United Cities Local Governments (UCLG). It is an engagement group of the G20 that brings together more than 20 cities of G20 member states to make recommendations on sustainable urban development, seeking to contribute to the commitments of the G20 on global challenges. All together, the cities of U20 have a population of over 230 million and are responsible for more than 80% of global GDP. The first U20 summit was held in the city of Buenos Aires in 2018, and the second was held in Tokyo, in 2019.