Urban 20 Mayors urge leaders to focus on climate change, free trade at G-20 summit in Japan

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-22 20:21:30|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

TOKYO, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The mayors of major global cities issued a joint statement in Tokyo Wednesday to be presented to the Group of 20 summit in Osaka next month urging world leaders to focus on climate change and other global issues including free trade, according to local media.

At the conclusion of the two-day Urban 20 Mayors Summit talks, the local leaders' joint statement called on the leaders of major global economies to work towards "decarbonizing the energy grid, with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, and 100 percent renewable energy by 2050."

Underscoring their commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accord, they maintained that tackling climate change remains "the most pressing challenge of the 21st century."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will be chairing the G-20 summit in Osaka, received the joint statement from the mayors from Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike.

In response to Koike stating that the goals set by the local leaders include steps to achieve cutting greenhouse gas emissions to "effectively zero by 2050 and cut plastic waste," Abe said that "Climate change and marine plastic are among the global issues that the G-20 will discuss along with free trade and rules for the digital economy."

While the Japanese government has said it plans to reduce emissions of domestic greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050, the Tokyo Metropolitan government has said it plans to reduce emissions in the capital to effectively zero by 2025.

In part, to achieve this, it will significantly reduce the amount of emissions from incinerating plastic waste by 2030, with plans laid down to reduce the burning of plastic waste by 40 percent, Koike has said.

The 2015 Paris climate accord aims for virtually zero emissions of global greenhouse gases by the second half of the century and an average increase in global warming kept to below 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels.

The efforts to tackle the effects of global warming, such as rising sea levels, floods and droughts, through the accord, will be high on the agenda at the G-20 summit, sources here said.

The Urban 20 Mayors Summit comprises representatives from 26 major cities around the world, such as Berlin, Tokyo and Durban, who gather to discuss and find consensus on issues such as climate change, sustainable economic growth and other pressing global issues such as free trade.