City leaders address solutions for global governance reform and the fight for social inclusion at the Urban 20 (U20) 2024 Mayors’ Summit in São Paulo

21 June 2024

Sao Paulo, Brazil (20 June 2024) – 38 Mayors and city representatives representing some of the world’s largest economies gathered in Sao Paulo for the Urban 20 (U20) 2024 Mayors Summit.


They urged world leaders to take concrete actions to foster social inclusion and the fight against hunger and poverty, promote sustainable development and a just energy transition, and reform global governance institutions for a reinvigorated multilateral system, in line with the priorities set out by the Brazilian G20 presidency.


City leaders called on national governments to work together with national leaders through increased coordinated and multi-stakeholder efforts, both at global and local levels. They shared insight on specific proposals to address these challenges, from promoting food security through urban agriculture, circularity and meal distribution programs, prioritizing adequate and affordable housing as a basis to fight poverty, unlocking finance for urban sustainable development, or further action to promote the establishment of mechanisms for structural engagement of cities within intergovernmental processes, building on the recommendations of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments and ahead of the Summit of the Future.


Hosted by São Paulo, co-chaired by São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and co-convened by C40 Cities and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), two of the networks gathered around the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, the Summit brought together city representatives and key partners, including Ambassador Antonio da Costa, from Brazil’s Ministry of Cities, and the G20 Brazil Sous-Sherpa, Felipe Reis.


The U20 Co-Chairs delivered a statement for the G20 to consider ahead of its summit in Rio de Janeiro in November 2024, calling on advancing measures to increase social inclusion, fight against hunger and poverty, deliver a just transition, reform global governance, and unlock finance for urban sustainable development. The statements will be delivered directly by the U20 Co-Chairs to the G20 Sherpa on 4 July.


The statement can be accessed here.


The second 2024 U20 Mayors Summit will be held in November in Rio de Janeiro. For the first time, it will take place on the eve of the G20 Heads of State and Government meeting, and will count with the G20 Social, a dedicated space for stakeholder engagement with the G20.

Host city Mayor, Ricardo Nunes of São Paulo, said: “People live in cities. We need cities to have strong, concrete actions. Undoubtedly, climate change issues are among the most pressing discussions for cities worldwide. We see this in southern Brazil, where various cities are dealing with floods and landslides, leaving thousands homeless, and in the Amazon region with fires and other global experiences”

Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, said: “It is crucial to always bear in mind that the primary actions to address climate change are carried out in cities, which serve as key drivers of economic growth, accounting for over 80% of the global GDP. It is imperative to establish mechanisms within global governance that secure their direct access to international financing through public, private, and multilateral sources. The G20 represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate to the world’s foremost leaders the vital importance of global financial reform.”

Kevin Austin, Deputy Executive Director of C40 Cities, recalled: “Cities don’t just act on climate, they take action at scale and they take action quickly. From the new public park the size of Paris in São Paulo, preserving this as permanent green space for city residents, to the new solar plant in Rio that will be located in a deactivated landfill and supply energy to 45 schools. By working with cities, G20 countries can turn the noble goals and words of global agreements into action; action that can benefit people not years from now but months. Fast action is essential – the world is on the brink of climate tipping points that, if exceeded, will only exacerbate poverty, inequality and conflict. The proposals of the U20 summit are a beacon of hope as cities lead the charge towards a more sustainable and equitable world.”

Emilia Sáiz, UCLG Secretary General said: “The message of hope given by cities like São Paulo needs to be accompanied by increased capacity to deliver public services that provide a solid foundation for equality and social justice as the ground to combat hunger and poverty. The conversations and engagement at this U20 Summit were proof of how cities of the world are at the frontline to address not only today’s current challenges but also the needs and aspirations of future generations, aligned with the G20 Brazilian presidency. In Sao Paulo, U20 cities have proven they stand ready to work in partnership with G20 leaders. In return, a clear recognition of cities as a sphere of government in international institutions will be crucial.”

About Urban20

20 Urban 20 is a city diplomacy initiative that brings together cities from G20 member states under a common framework to discuss global economic, climate and development issues. The cities form a common position and issue recommendations for consideration by the G20 presidency and heads of state, enhancing the role of cities as global economic and political leaders. The U20 initiative is permanently convened by C40 Cities and United Cities and Local Governments, under the leadership of a chair city that changes each year. Prior U20 cycles were chaired by Buenos Aires and Paris (2018), Tokyo (2019), Riyadh (2020), Rome and Milan (2021) as well as Jakarta and West Java (2022).

About C40 Cities

C40 is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities who are working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. Through a Global Green New Deal, mayors are working alongside a broad coalition of representatives from labour, business, the youth climate movement and civil society to go further and faster than ever before. The current chair of C40 is Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as president of the board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and Realdania. To learn more about the work of C40 and our cities, please visit our website, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

UCLG is the largest world organisation of local and regional governments and their associations, representing and defending their interests on the world stage. UCLG’s origins date back to the first ever International Congress of Cities held in Ghent in 1913. Today, with more than 250,000 members, it serves 70% of the world’s population and is present in all world regions. UCLG leads on the localisation of the global agendas through its Pact for the Future of Humanity and the achievement 5 5 of the common agenda through the facilitation of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, the official consultation mechanism through which the constituency deliberates and unites Its voice before the United Nations and other international processes.