Led by Mayors Sadiq Khan of London and Bill de Blasio of New York City, 12 major global cities pledge to invest in green industries as part of their covid-19 recovery plans.

No that’s getting two birds stoned at once… I mean killing two birds with one stone!

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a greener, brighter future. If you’d like to have Hopeful Headlines sent to your inbox, sign up for our free weekly newsletter!

Mayors of 12 Major Cities Commit to Divest From Fossil Fuel Companies, Invest in Green and Just Recovery from COVID-19 Crisis

Press Release from C40 Cities, September 22, 2020

  • Mayors of 12 cities representing more than 36 million people made a pledge to “divest from fossil fuel companies and advocate for greater sustainable investment, as part of their commitment to accelerating a green and just recovery from COVID-19.”
  • Signatories include the the mayors of: Berlin, Bristol, Cape Town, Durban, London, Los Angeles, Milan, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Pittsburgh and Vancouver.
  • From the press release: Cities signing on to the new declaration commit to build momentum for fossil-free and sustainable investment by:
    • Taking all possible steps to divest city assets from fossil fuel companies and increasing financial investments in climate solutions to help promote decent jobs and a just and green economy.
    • Calling on pension funds to divest from fossil fuel companies and increasing financial investments in climate solutions to help promote decent jobs and a just and green economy.
    • Advocating for fossil-free and sustainable finance by other investors and all levels of government, including by promoting the importance of strong, long-term climate policies and demanding greater transparency.”

Why does it matter: Pledging a green covid-19 recovery doesn’t only make environmental sense; it makes economic sense, too. The average return on sustainable funds is 6.9% compared to 6.3% for traditionally invested funds.

California to ban all new gas-powered cars by 2035 under order by Gov. Gavin Newsom

By Mark Olalde and Janet Wilson, Palm Springs Desert Sun, September 23, 2020

  • California Governer Gavin Newsom’s executive order aims to “ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and other passenger vehicles in the state by 2035.” Newsom also hinted at a fracking ban to end the practice by 2024.
  • From the article: “The transportation sector accounts for more than half of California’s carbon emissions, 80% of its smog-forming pollution and 95% of diesel emissions.”
  • California accounts for nearly half the electric vehicles sales in the US and is home to 34 EV manufacturers. Newsome called electric vehicles “the next big global industry” and said he wants his state to “dominate it.”

Why it matters: After facing the five hottest summers on record and record-breaking wildfire seasons, the California governor seems keen on bold climate action. Let’s hope it sends shockwaves through the country and auto industry.

China, in Pointed Message to U.S., Tightens Its Climate Targets

By Somini Sengupta, The New York Times, September 22, 2020.

  • Chinese president Xi Jinping — leader of world’s top producer of greenhouse gas emissions — pledged stronger climate targets at the United Nations General Assembly. The pledge is centered around reaching carbon neutrality before 2060.
  • Although vague, coming through on this pledge would be a significant step in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and slowing global warming.
  • From the article: “China is the world’s largest consumer of coal, even as it dominates clean energy technology, producing more solar panels and wind turbines than any country in the world. It is also the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars and buses. Whether and how China transitions away from fossil fuels to renewable energy could become clearer when it issues its next five-year economic plan, which will guide the country’s economic trajectory from 2021 through 2025.”

Why it matters: As the leading nation in GHG emissions, coal consumption, solar/wind production and electric vehicles, a greener China means a greener planet.

Ready for some climate action of your own? Check out these eco-friendly products in the Emeraldology Shop!

Feature photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash.