Cities are on the frontline of climate change. They generate over 80% of global GDP and more than 70% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Deadline 2020, a report by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), found that if all cities above 100,000 population adopted 1.5°C action plans, they could deliver around 40% of the GHG emission savings required to limit global temperature rises in line with the Paris Agreement. 1 Without immediate and committed action by cities, it won’t be possible to achieve the Paris Agreement targets.
Culture is now understood as essential to creating resilient and sustainable cities. This is why cultural leadership is now indispensable. Cultural leaders define standards and set new norms. They have the ability to position action on climate change as critical to their mandates, with culture as a vehicle for enabling change. Many cities are working to embed action on climate and environment through policy, however few have integrated culture in practical ways that support and generate creative action.
In response to this, Julie’s Bicycle has been working with World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF) and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) to produce a handbook for city leaders to inspire and help build environmental sustainability into cultural policies, programmes and solutions. It serves as a compendium of case studies from WCCF members (and further cities) who are demonstrating leadership in cultural policy and creating frameworks for climate action, leading to environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits.
The World Cities Culture Forum is now working with Julie’s Bicycle on a new support and leadership exchange programme on this topic to help its member cities scale up their work linking culture and environmental sustainability.
New Cities Support Programme
The new cities support programme has been developed to take a detailed look a city’s current practice in integrating culture, climate and the environment. It will help identify bothgaps and opportunities for action, providing a good practice roadmap to take each city forward, leveraging its unique influence for positive change.
The support programme is focused on enabling cultural and environmental departments to collaborate and embed environmental knowledge, ambition and action into their city policy, strategy and cultural activity.
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