COVID-19 Recovery Task Force

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Mayors from major cities worldwide will bring expertise and knowledge to newly formed Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force.

C40 Cities, at the direction of its Chair and Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, to convene mayors from Freetown, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Medellín, Milan, Melbourne, Montréal, New Orleans, Rotterdam, Seattle and Seoul.

Task Force, chaired by Mayor of Milan, established to drive forward an economic recovery that improves public health, reduces inequality and addresses the climate crisis.

London, 29 April 2020 – Today C40 Cities announced the 11 mayors confirmed to participate in the newly launched Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, to drive forward a sustainable and fair economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

The members of the task force are: Chair of the Task Force Mayor of Milan, Italy, Giuseppe Sala; Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Yvonne Aki Sawyerr; Secretary for the Environment of Hong Kong, China, KS Wong; Mayor of Lisbon, Portugal, Fernando Medina; Mayor of Rotterdam, Netherlands, Ahmed Aboutaleb; Mayor of Medellín, Colombia, Daniel Quintero Calle; Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia, Sally Capp; Mayor of Montréal, Canada, Valérie Plante; Mayor of New Orleans, USA, LaToya Cantrell; Mayor of Seattle, USA, Jenny Durkan; Mayor of Seoul, South Korea, Won-soon Park.

Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala will today Chair the first meeting of the Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, established to drive forward an economic recovery that improves public health, reduces inequality and addresses the climate crisis. The Task Force will explore ways for the economic recovery from COVID-19 to get people back to work, while ensuring climate breakdown doesn’t become an even bigger crisis for the global economy and the lives and livelihoods of communities worldwide.

“When the time comes to reopen and rebuild, our efforts will define our cities for decades to come  –– and as Mayors, it’s our responsibility to lay the foundation for the fair society and healthy planet our residents deserve,” said C40 Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Cities worldwide led the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will marshal all of our local resources to advance a robust global recovery –– to get people back to work and accelerate action to address the climate crisis.”

Mayor of Milan and Chair of Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Giuseppe Sala said: “I am honoured to chair such an outstanding group of mayors in our quest for the best recovery strategy for cities after the COVID-19 pandemic. We know we do not want to take any steps back from our commitment on creating more sustainable, more equitable and healthier cities. We know we do not want to leave any fellow citizen behind. Our cities face an unprecedented challenge now and we are motivated to draw from our collective experience to provide support and guidance to mayors around the world. We must be ambitious and focused as well as creative. I thank fellow mayors for their trust and collaboration.”

Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki Sawyerr said: “In a city as vulnerable as Freetown, where a third of our population live under $1 a day, the importance of charting our path to economic recovery after COVID-19 cannot be overemphasized. We are happy to work with other C40 Cities to ensure that the path we choose is sustainable and inclusive.”

Mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina said: “We need to act fast and boldly in the face of unemployment, poverty and the economic crisis. The way forward is to invest more and faster in the green agenda, saving the economy and investing in the future”.

Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb said: “The COVID-19 virus affects us all. It is causing much grief in our cities. The measures we need to take to contain the virus have far-reaching social-economic consequences. By working together we can overcome these dark times. Our aim is simple; a better, greener and more prosperous future for all.”

Mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero Calle said: “As Mayor of Medellín, I feel honored to be part of the Global Mayors COVID-19 Recovery Task Force and to represent all the Latin American cities. Belonging to this working group will enable Medellín to implement successful actions in real time for sustainable economic recovery as a reality for the future of our city and the whole world. Our goal will be to share and complement all the knowledge of the cities to find the best ways to get ahead and overcome this great challenge, once again demonstrating Medellín’s resilience in the face of adversity.”

Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp said the C40 Global Mayors COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce allows cities from across the globe to share the best international ideas and deliver them locally.

“We all have an important role to play in ensuring the economies of our cities recover as quickly as possible and we can share information and ideas about the best approaches,” Lord Mayor Capp said. “There’s also an opportunity to ensure that the coordinated effort to support our economic recovery delivers more effective climate action and provides a more equitable society

Mayor of Montréal, Valérie Plante said: “The current situation is difficult for all major cities in the world. Montréal is no exception. Our economy as a whole has been hit hard. And we need more than ever to position our economic recovery in the context of our fight against climate change. It is also clear to me that our economic recovery must go hand in hand with our social recovery. By investing in solidarity, we will have a more resilient population and a more resilient city.”

Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, said: “In both matters of climate change and this global pandemic, mayors and their cities are gravely impacted and have to be at the forefront of finding ways to rebuild our economy, particularly in ways that can advance our climate change goals. As we get New Orleanians back to work, we need to focus on creating job opportunities in emerging green and blue sectors – such as urban water management, local manufacturing, coastal restoration, solar, and energy efficiency. Not only are we creating sustainable jobs for today and tomorrow, we will also improve the long-term health and stability of our city.”

Mayor of Seoul, Won-soon Park said: “While the full scale of a COVID-19 recession is uncertain, it is clear that we need a new strategy to prevent the climate crisis posing an even greater threat to our economy and citizens. Seoul is going to closely work with C40 cities and the global community to fight against all the challenges facing our cities and citizens, such as economic and social inequality, and the climate crisis.”

The Task Force, representing the geographic reach and diversity of the C40 network, will convene at regular intervals in the coming weeks and months. It will be supported by the C40 Secretariat and report to the C40 Steering Committee, chaired by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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