C40 Announces New Milestones in Leadership and Funding

Dec 17, 2013, 09:00 ET from C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes begins tenure as C40 Chair; Former Chair New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg named President of C40 Board; Former London Mayoral Adviser and Director of ARUP Mark Watts appointed as C40 Executive Director; C40 announces new Board of Directors, including outgoing Executive Director Jay Carson; Strategic funding commitments by CIFF, Realdania and Bloomberg Philanthropies

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) announced several key milestones in both leadership and funding for the organization that will help accelerate the impact cities are having in taking climate actions locally that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Effective immediately, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes begins his 2-year tenure as C40 Chair while former Chair New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg assumes a new role as President of the C40 Board of Directors. Mark Watts, a former Director of ARUP, and Climate Change and Transport adviser to the former Mayor of London and C40 founder Ken Livingstone, has been appointed the new Executive Director for the organization. Jay Carson, C40's outgoing Executive Director, will join the organization's Board of Directors representing Bloomberg Philanthropies. As well, Rohit Aggarwala, Special Advisor to the Chair under Mayor Bloomberg's tenure, has been asked to remain on as a consultant to both Paes and Bloomberg.

"We are thrilled to have Mark Watts join us as the new Executive Director of C40," said Michael R. Bloomberg, President of C40 and Mayor of New York City. "Mark is uniquely qualified to run C40 and will be able to build on the strong management, funding and operations structure that we have put in place. I also want to thank Jay and Rit for all the outstanding work they've done to get us to where we are today – it's great news for C40 that they will be staying on to help the organization continue moving forward."

C40 also announced today that it has reached key funding commitments in the amount of $8.9 million from the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), $9 million from Realdania and $10 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies which will provide the core funding for C40 global activities over the next three years. 

In addition to these funding commitments, CIFF (Shirley Rodrigues), Realdania (Jesper Nygard) and Bloomberg Philanthropies (Jay Carson) will join the Board of Directors that includes Mayor Bloomberg as President, Matthew Pencharz from the Greater London Authority, Aisa Tobing from the City of Jakarta and Bruce Lindsey from the Clinton Foundation. An additional city-held seat will be appointed in 2014.

During Mayor Bloomberg's tenure he has built a professional organisation and established measurable and uniform benchmarks for climate action success, and has expanded knowledge-sharing between cities and partner organisations with similar priorities.  As a result, the organization has been able to quantify that C40 Cities have taken more than 5,000 climate actions over the last five years. When fully implemented, these actions will cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 248 million tons worldwide by 2020 - the equivalent to the total GHG emissions of Argentina and Portugal combined. These actions have the potential to reduce over 1 billion tonnes by 2030, which is the equivalent of the GHG emissions of Mexico and Canada combined.

The board appointments and funding provide a great base for the organization and new leadership team moving forward.

"I am delighted to be joining C40 as Executive Director," said Mark Watts, new Executive Director. "City mayors are now rightly acknowledged as being at the forefront of tackling climate change. Through Mayor Bloomberg's vision and leadership, the organization I was lucky enough to help create in 2005 has been transformed in scale, professionalism and ambition. I am greatly looking forward to working with the fantastic team to help the world's greatest cities demonstrate that it is possible to both cut emissions and create successful economies that are great places to live."

Watts played an integral role in the creation of C40 having served as former London Mayor Ken Livingstone's climate change and transport adviser from 2000 to 2008.  In that role he led the development of London's groundbreaking Climate Change Action Plan and the associated program of projects to reduce London's carbon emissions by 60% by 2025. He has continued to play a significant role in the C40 through his subsequent post as Director of Energy and Climate Change at Arup where he oversaw the firm's partnership with C40 in research efforts focused on mayoral powers and actions in cities globally.

"Over the last several weeks, I have begun to work closely with Mark Watts on transitioning the organization's leadership and have found his leadership to be strategic, creative and energetic. He will be a valuable asset for the organization over the long term," said Rio de Janeiro Mayor and C40 Chair Eduardo Paes. "My team and I have worked closely with Jay Carson over the last couple of years and are grateful for his service and look forward to his continued engagement with the organization."

About C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. C40 was established in 2005 and expanded via a partnership in 2006 with President William J. Clinton's Climate Initiative (CCI). The current chair of the C40 is Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is President of the Board. To learn more about the work of C40 and our Cities, please visit www.c40.org, follow us on Twitter @c40cities and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/C40Cities.

About Realdania
Realdania is a modern philanthropic association that works to create quality of life and benefit the common good by improving the built environment: cities, buildings and the built heritage. Realdania grew out of a 150 year old mortgage credit association whose credit activities were sold off in 2000. Over the past 13 years Realdania has engaged in a total project value of approximately EUR 3.7 billion. Realdanias grants accounted for EUR 1.9 billion. Learn more at http://www.realdania.org.

About Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
The Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) is an independent, philanthropic organisation. Our staff and Trustees combine the best of business and the best of development, bringing a wealth of experience from both sectors to CIFF's work. We aim to demonstrably improve the lives of children in developing countries by achieving large-scale, sustainable impact. We believe that every child deserves to survive, thrive and mature into adulthood in a supportive and safe environment. However, climate change disproportionately affects children living in poverty in developing countries. A key focus for CIFF is climate-smart urbanisation. To learn more about the work of CIFF on climate change please visit www.ciff.org.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies¹ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg¹s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2012, $370 million was distributed. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org

SOURCE C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group